Barbados’ newest centenarian, Maria St. Auburn-Cave, is very happy to reach her 100th birthday.
St. Auburn-Cave, who celebrated her special day on Tuesday, February 28, with family at her Valley Development home, St. George said her only regret on reaching the milestone was that her husband was not alive to share it with her.
“I feel good; I feel real happy. The only thing [is], I feel sad that my husband is not here… God take him and I have to live without him, but he was a good husband and a good father. He worked day and night to provide for us; we never suffered a day… I love[d] him very much,” she said.
President of Barbados, Her Excellency, The Most Honourable Dame Sandra Mason, paid a visit via Zoom, as part of the celebrations, and wished the centenarian a very special birthday. Her Excellency noted that. St. Auburn-Cave’s day “is special in a number of ways, especially because she is the widow of Prince Cave, who has given Barbados so much pleasure over the years.”
The centenarian’s second daughter, Antoinette Sealy, paid a tribute on behalf of the family, stating: “Mummy’s pride and joy has always been her seven children… her 12 grandchildren and her 12 great-grandchildren. Her family always came first.”
Lloyd Cave, one of the centenarian’s eldest grandchildren, noted that she is “the rock of the family”.
Prince Cave Jr., one of the centenarian’s sons and a member of the Troubadours band in Barbados, shared that one of his fondest memories was “the strength she had” when his father, Inspector Prince Cave, former Director of the Royal Barbados Police Force Band (now Barbados Police Service Band) traveled for three years to complete a Band Master’s course at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, England.
Perhaps one of the most poignant tributes was that from Ronald Cave, who shared that when he took ill with tetanus as a boy, “every day, sometimes twice a day” his mum would walk from work or from home to the hospital. “There were some days I was so bad that she could not see me directly, but I remember that sometimes she would come by the window to catch a glimpse,” he noted.
Auburn-Cave worked in the Accounts Department at Perkins and Sons and then at French Trading Co. Ltd. until retirement. Both businesses were on Roebuck Street, Bridgetown.
She was known for sticking to a schedule and the family knew that growing up, when it was noon it was time to eat and at 7 p.m. she would watch the Evening News on CBC TV, which to this day, she still does with the lights turned off.
One of the centenarian’s favourite songs is Wind Beneath My Wings,, which Prince Cave Jr. played on the saxophone, as part of his tribute to his mother.
An avid cook, Auburn-Cave still prepares some of her own meals, mainly breakfast (tea and a boiled egg) and her evening tea, which she takes with a fried egg. She has a special fondness for eggs, and she eats two every day. The centenarian appreciates all types of food and is known to like dessert – ice cream and jam puffs.