Barbados’ newest centenarian, Loleta Virginia Worrell, celebrated the milestone surrounded by family and friends at St Judes Nursing Home in Holders Hill, St James.
Worrell, who hails from The Whim, St Peter, excitedly engaged Governor General Dame Sandra Mason in conversation, talking about her love for cou cou and encouraging the GG to pay a visit to The Whim Wesleyan Holiness Church where she was formerly the senior superintendent of the Sunday Day School.
The centenarian was in high spirits and all ears as she laughed and joked with family and friends.
Nurse Phyllis Britton indicated Worrell joined the home in 2014 and her only ailment was old age, as she could often be found making another laugh.
Worrell’s niece Sandra Waterman, who fondly referred to her as Leta, spoke of her aunt’s love for children and her family.
The former seamstress had no children, but she was a stepmother to Veronica Greene and was a second mother to all, taking care of all those around her.
“She was always helpful,” commented Waterman who added that whenever one visited Worrell’s house it was certain that they would leave with a full stomach.
“She looked after people’s children because she has none of her own. She loved to cook so when she cooked she would just share. You could always go to her house and get something to eat no matter how small it is. That was her passion,” said the 66-year-old.
Eighty-nine-year-old Syril Leacock described how Worrell became her ‘big sister’ at the age of ten.
“I was fatherless . . . and my mother was a domestic servant working . . . so she [Leta] used to help take care of me,” Leacock explained while adding that although they were different denominations, they walked each other to and from church every Sunday.
The close-knit duo, were neighbours, as Leacock indicated, “we were so close in proximity, that if we opened our window, she [Leta] could hand me anything through mine”.