Centenarian Elma Ernesta Timothy has lived a fulfilling and loving life.
The fact that she was surrounded by family and friends from Barbados, Canada and the United States, as she marked the milestone, was a testament to that.
The former Salvation Army minister and housewife was also joined by Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave for her celebrations today.
Born in Panama, Mothers or Mamma, as she is affectionately referred to by her children and grandchildren, came to Barbados at the age of three. She went on to attend the Speightstown branch of the Salvation Army and later trained to be a minister. She last held the position of Lieutenant.
Timothy had eight children, 19 grandchildren and more than 16 great-grandchildren. Two of her children, Bernard and Wynford, recalled that their mother was a strict disciplinarian.
“She used to keep a belt in her pocket. Anybody complained for us, she didn’t say anything, but 6 o’clock in the morning, licks!” Wynford recounted.
The mischievous siblings took to hiding the belt, but it was replaced with a thicker and broader version. Nevertheless, the lashings were done out of love.
Reminiscing about how his mother would awaken him with lashes, Wynford commented: “I believe she was a headmistress.”
The brothers unanimously agreed that it was all for the best.
“She did it with effort, strength and perseverance. She just wanted us to grow up the right way,” said Bernard. “And I think she succeeded. She did her best with us.”