An unselfish lady who looked out for everyone around her and helped people in whatever small way she could.
That was how relatives of Barbados’ latest centenarian Meta Ernesta Jessamy remembered her as they celebrated her birthday in Carter’s Gap, Enterprise, Christ Church, this morning.
Speaking after Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, paid a courtesy call to celebrate the momentous occasion, one of her daughters, Jasmine Walker, gave some insight into her life. “She had five children in total, and I remember she was very religious. As children, we had to go to church at the Fairy Valley Church near the airport. I remember she also signed me up to join the library and took me there many times, but she got concerned once when she realized I was borrowing the same book all the time!
“I can also remember when Hurricane Janet struck Barbados in 1955, she held onto my hand and grabbed me and we hid in a cave. I was about three years old then, she pulled me through and the wind was really strong, hitting us like pebbles, and she ran with me to protect me.”
Jasmine, who now lives in New York, said her mother’s memory is “in and out now”, but she still enjoys a variety of foods. “She likes rice, potatoes, flying fish and fruits, and I once brought in sorrel for her when I traveled here and she put it away for Christmas. We love her very much and ensure she is well looked after. For example, as soon as I get paid, I go to Western Union and send some money to her so she can get her food and anything else she might need. My son, who is 36 years old, looks after her now. He was born in New York, but he has been living with her since he was three years old.”
Jasmine stated her mother had one simple wish in life. “She would always say, ‘I am not asking for riches, I just want to live to see my children and my grandchildren grow up.’ She would go out of her way to help anyone, and she has raised police officers, nurses, and their children. I remember once a nurse came here and lost her badge, and my mother searched up and down till she found it. She is concerned about everything and everyone and always puts others first. She is just a wonderful person.”
Jasmine shared her own philosophy on life, which no doubt she inherited from Meta. “Whatever you can do for a person that is positive, even if it is just smiling at them, [it] can make a difference in their lives, so it helps to maintain that friendly and unselfish spirit.”