Despite the physical challenges she has endured since childhood, Muriel Elise Ellis today reached a century.
Barbados’ latest centenarian was “the lady of the moment” at the Good Citizens Care of the Elderly Home in Grazettes, St Michael, this morning as she marked her milestone in the presence of Acting Governor General Sir Philip Greaves, fellow residents, caregivers and relatives, who flew in from abroad for the special occasion.
Her nephew Richard Blackett, who resides in the United Kingdom, revealed that Ellis was one of five children, including three brothers who have all died. However, she has a 95-year-old sister who lives in New York.
Blackett also revealed that Ellis never married or had any children.
And while a childhood accident took her hearing and also affected her ability to speak, Blackett suggested that it might have also contributed to her longevity.
“I don’t think she had a stressful life, given that she didn’t have the stresses of family or work, and of course she always ate good food and still has a good appetite,” he said.
“Health wise, she has never suffered from diabetes or high blood pressure; the only problem she has is cataracts, which have hampered her eyesight.”
However, the centenarian was all smiles today, as she sipped on champagne with the Acting Governor General.
One of the nurses at the home, Cynthia Browne-Gittens, described Ellis as a very independent lady who “still makes her bed, likes to pick out her own outfits and knows her way around the facility well, despite her failing eyesight”.
Birthday celebrations continued at the home later in the afternoon with the caregivers and other residents, including 103-year-old Marie Brereton, who will be marking her 104th birthday on December 31.