Hermione Parris is Barbados’ newest centenarian.
She celebrated the milestone today at her Pool Land, St John residence, receiving a special visit from Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave and celebratory toasts from several family members.
“It means a lot. I never expected it. When I first came along, I used to be sick,” said Parris who attributed her longevity to eating ground provisions and God.
An elated Parris was excited as he interacted with the Governor-General for just over an hour. She engaged Sir Elliott in discussion about current affairs and her pastimes, impressing the head of state with her knowledge and ability to read, without glasses, the special birthday card presented to her from Queen Elizabeth II.
Parris had seven children, two of whom are deceased. She has 19 grand-children and 66 great-grands, many of whom were on her hand for the celebration.
Tanya Reid told Barbados TODAY that at 100, her grandmother was still very active in church and its ministry and just last year returned from a missionary trip in St Vincent.
She said “Ma” instilled Christian values in all of her children, grands and great grands and had a favourite Bible text which she always preached to family members: “O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good.”
The sprightly centenarian is often heard singing her favourite song, Life’s Railways by Patsy Cline. The words go: “Life is like a mountain railroad, with an engineer that’s brave, we must make the run successful, from the cradle to the grave.”
Youngest daughter Wendy Reid told Barbados TODAY that her mum was blessed with many talents, most notably as a seamstress who made all of her clothes growing up. Many family members paid tribute and talked about all the good things which the family matriarch had done for them.
Great-grand, Terrian Reid, said she had been counting down the years to today since she was ten-years-old and her great-grandmother was 90. Terrian said she more looked forward to Parris’ birthday than her own and was extremely glad to be part of the celebration.