One of the secrets to reaching 100 years is hard work –– this coming from Barbados’ latest centenarian Whitstanley Spooner, who celebrated his birthday yesterday with visits from Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave, family and friends at his St Barnabas, St Michael home.
“Hard work never kill nobody yet. Hard work is good for the body, good for the soul. It good for supporting your children –– and getting my own house,” he told Barbados TODAY.
In an attractive outfit and looking dapper, while sitting in his wheelchair awaiting the arrival of Sir Elliott, Spooner explained that his share of hard work had served him well as “a real street vendor”.
In the early 1900s and beyond, Whitstanley, who is also known as “Bash Spooner”, braved the sun and rain, pushing his box cart, from which he sold iced mauby, lemonade and other refreshing juices to workmen on boats docked in The Wharf, The City.
Distinguished men of Bridgetown were also among his clientele.
“I used to do well, very well too, selling mauby, snowball and different drinks . . . . I remember when it use to be ten cents for a glass of cold mauby.
“It was hard at first, but then you had to break yourself into it by walking up and down, strolling that cart in the broiling sun. And then after, I get a bicycle to go around with; and that made it a little easier,” the 100-year-old said.
“Bash Spooner” recalled that he was quite a popular man with his customers. His reputation for tasty mauby and other delights
yielded many a customer and friend, making his cart a fashionable conversation point.
“As a street vendor you know a lot of things, hear a lot of things and see a lot of things. I use to know partly everything that going on.
“When I selling the women and men I sell use to tell me some of them own and everybody business. I never use to talk back things though; they would stay with me for as along as I am alive,” he swore.