by Katrina King
Today was no ordinary day for Edena Elise Waithe of Checker Hall, St Lucy.
She became Barbados’ newest centenarian, celebrating her birthday in fine style with honoured guests – Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and Dean of the St Michael’s Cathedral Jeffrey Gibson.
In the presence of family and friends, Waithe who is blind, quietly enjoyed the special occasion.
Her eldest son, Winston Ifill, 72, proudly shared that his mother was selfless and her lack of vision never stopped her from providing love and care to her family.
“Even when she started to go blind and I come home . . . she would still get up in the morning looking to make breakfast for me.
“She would always cook more than she could cook, so that someone could have something to eat,” added Ifill.
Noting that his mother was a disciplinarian, he remembered, “she used to give you a little thump for things that you didn’t think you’d deserve to get, but it all worked for the better as far as I am concerned”.
Waithe, who has nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, was a hard worker. She served as a housekeeper, worked at a laundermat and even helped to build road.
The centenarian is a devout Christian who attends the Cathedral of St Michaels and All Angels and, according to Ifill, she “initially joined the church to see her sons in their robes”.
The Dean of the St Michaels Cathedral praised his parishioner for reaching the milestone.
Sinckler also congratulated Waithe, appealing to her family to cherish her.