Who says that life has to stop when one gets close to being 100? For Icilma Marsh her life may have been long, but she is definitely enjoying the life that she has been given.
The 99-year-old who was dressed in her exercise blue and white attire showed that despite her age she is still agile as she and personal trainer Evy Blackman whined to the ground at the Surfside Wellness Gym this morning in the company of Dame Sandra Mason.
Marsh who was born on August 4, 1918 credits her longevity to being actively involved in fitness.
“I started from the Hilton and [when] they moved from the Hilton to here I came over. I never stopped. I come here every day. I got to have a cold or anything that keeps me away but as soon as I get better, I come,” Marsh said, adding that she does all the exercises that the “young people” do at Surfside Wellness Centre.
“Everything, whatever the young ones do, I do. Because they like me and they like me to dance up with them,” she said chuckling.
Marsh said that she lived in England for 25 years working as a seamstress.
“When I [finished] working, they would give me three or four pieces of clothes to carry home and do and bring back the next morning. I got back to work at 7 a.m. I worked hard, and I thought it would kill me but it helped me,” she said.
Joining in on the celebrations was Governor General Dame Sandra Mason who said she knew Marsh from their exercising days at the Radiant Health Club [now known as Surfside Wellness Gym] when it was at the Hilton Hotel.
“I am the only one here who knew Mrs Marsh from the time she used to come to Surfside. We used to go to the gym at [Radiant Hotel] at the Hilton when Mrs Maureen Branson who is there looking so splendiferous used to be in charge of the gym. So, I have known Mrs Marsh for a very long time. This would have been in the 80s. It is my wish that one of you would be here to visit me when I get to Mrs Marsh’s age,” Mason said, adding that Marsh has been an inspiration to her in her own personal fitness journey.
“I want to be in this august company to say – Mrs Marsh, what a wonder and privilege it has been to have known you all these years and to hear so often that Mrs Marsh is still going to the gym. You have, as Georgina says, been an inspiration because any morning when I feel like [I can’t make it] I think of Mrs Marsh climbing those stairs and I make sure that I get up and I come,” she said.
Although Marsh will officially celebrate her birthday tomorrow, the staff at Surfside Wellness Centre held her celebrations today as they sang happy birthday and presented her with a wide array of gifts. (LG)