In one of his first assignments as Acting Governor General, Sir Philip Greaves today paid a visit to a stalwart of the Battaleys, St Peter community as she celebrated her 100th birthday.
Una Elsie Ifill, known to everyone as Sylvie, shared her celebrations with Sir Philip, who presented her with a bouquet of flowers, shared a glass of wine with her, and also gave her a card to mark the milestone.
When asked to what she attributed her long life, the centenarian who was born in Fustic Village, St Lucy but moved to Speightstown, St Peter with her mother as a teenager, said: “I try my best to put God in front to guide me, protect me and direct me in the right way until the time is up. Praise the Lord!”
Ifill worked as a labourer at the Battaleys and Bakers plantations in St Peter. She never married, but had four children, one of whom died at a young age. Ifill also has six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Her daughter Violet, who lives in Philadelphia in the United States and came in to celebrate her mum’s centenary, described the elderly woman as “a very wonderful mother”.
“She worked and helped her other siblings that weren’t as fortunate as her, especially my aunt Lillian Holder, who had more children than she did. Lillian would have been here today, but she has mobility challenges, and my other aunt, Miriam Belgrave, is in a wheelchair and lives in a nursing home. My mum is the oldest of her siblings; she had a brother who died when he was 96 or 97, and both of my aunts are in their 90s, so hopefully they’ll make it to 100 as well,” she said.
Sylvie still worships regularly at the St Peter Church of God. The church’s pastor, Coral Richards, and some other members of the congregation attended Ifill’s birthday celebrations.
A group of children from the neighbouring Roland Edwards Primary School also came by to sing her Happy Birthday during the Acting Governor General’s visit.