Barbados’ latest centenarian Viola Als is feisty, active, alert and definitely not afraid to tell the world how much she loves God.
So it was no surprise to her family and friends that she was singing praises this morning when Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave paid her a birthday visit at her Jericho, St George home.
With her long grey hair, pulled back in one, complimenting a lovely red frock, Als delivered what could be compared to mini sermon as she spoke about the mighty God she serves and the great things He has done for her, including allowing her to celebrate this milestone.
“Jesus help me to get here. And God and Christ and the Lord,” she declared.
Whether she receives physical assistance from a family member or otherwise, the devoted Christian of many years makes her way to Workman’s Christian Mission almost every Sunday where she joins the congregation of the church she has served faithfully.
“I like everything about the church, everything. Well, they don’t say anything bad in the church. I like everything that goes on in the church,” said an energetic and spunky Als.
The woman of the moment also took the opportunity to sing a piece of her favourite hymn, Redeemed, after which she was applauded.
Als, who has outlived two of her three children, recalled that she was a dedicated seamstress who sewed for virtually everyone and for every occasion. In fact, she told Sir Elliott that over the years she has put out some beautiful brides.
To those who think the centenarian looks good for her age, “then you should see me when I was younger, you would jump and skip.”
But on a serious note, this elderly woman maintains a balanced healthy diet. She eats her ground provisions often, and exercises daily through walking around the house.
When asked what advice she had for those who want to live a long and enjoyable life, the grandmother of eight responded that they should strive to “live right and call on God, every minute, every second of your life.”
The centenarian’s daughter Margaret said while her mother never spared the rod while the children were growing up, she was one who provided for her offsprings.
“She was a loving mother. She made sure we go to church on Sunday mornings and then on afternoons we go to Sunday school. She reads her Bible everyday and sometimes get up at nights to read.”