Anestasie Charles, who is ‘fit and strong’ has shared her secret to a long and happy life – eating what she grows, proper rest, being kind to everyone she comes in contact with but, most importantly, praying regularly.
Ma Maggie, Dominica’s oldest living person, who can boast with pride that she’s been here before computers, cell phones, or vehicles became a thing, just last week celebrated her 108th birthday.
Born on 26 April 1914, the Wesley native is often scribed as a “special gem” by those in her community. She bore one child, raised five grandchildren, and worked as a farmer on the Londonderry Estate.
Ma Maggie who is said to have a memory like a computer remembers being raised by six strict parents, who she credits for her love for the garden.
Even the pandemic couldn’t stop Mionette Gussi Bannis, from celebrating her 106 years on earth.
Born on 27 April 1916, in the community of Dublanc, but now residing in Paix Bouche, MaLawoss as she is affectionately known, stated to the Sun that she has always been a happy woman, who enjoys the simplicity that life has to offer.
A lover of provision and fish, if there’s one thing you won’t catch her eating is rice, as in her long lifespan she’s always regarded the meal as “fowl food.”
She was blessed with two children, who have since passed away. In her younger days, she worked as a cleaner at the Botanic Gardens and lived in Roseau for 10 years.
A Catholic at heart, she enjoys church, going on island tours, getting manicures and pedicures, and giving lectures at the Paix Bouche Primary School.
Her message of encouragement is simple, “work hard and enjoy life.”
105-year-old Asher Timothy credits a daily glass of wine as the secret to his longevity.
Better known as “Uncle Mark” he was born on 28 April 1917.
When previously questioned by the Sun on his longevity, he jokingly stated that he’s been on earth for so long that he’s forgotten his age.
As a teenager, he migrated to Guadeloupe and spent most of his life there. He returned to Dominica in 1971 and was an overseer at the Melville Hall Estate.
Though he never got married and had children, he is considered a father to many in his community of Marigot.
A labourer and a hard worker despite his age, he still spends most of his days in his garden and at the movement suffers from no illness.
Not many of us can say we’ve had “happy birthday” sung to us 103 times, but Ms. Antonine Roberts, can.
Originally from Grand Fond, but now residing in Riviere Cyrique, she celebrated yet another milestone on April 30.
A dancer at heart, she credits this to her longevity, as well as the help from the Almighty Father.
Her only daughter passed away last year at the age of 78.
Despite the many challenges she’s lived through Roberts informed the Sun that she’s lived a good life and says that there is nothing she would change.
In March of 2021, Dominica was said to have the highest number of centenarians per capita-27. During the following months, the country was also expected to celebrate the 100th milestone of several other gems, which would have increased the total number to more than 30.
But due to the rise of the COVID-19 cases on the island, the number of centenarians has sadly and alarmingly decreased to just 15 which the Dominica Council of Ageing (DCOA) says is the lowest number that it has recorded.
The other remaining centenarians in Dominica are 106-year-old Mr. Oscar Phillip Joseph aka Popeye; Rennel Adrien -105 years; Angela Cuffy and Elma Labad – 104 years; 103-year-olds Felicite Alexander (Nenen); Hesketh Casimir, 102-year-old; Celina George, Jane Graham, Edvira Anatol and Epheline Elizee Laville who are all 101 years old and the youngest, 100-year-old Veronique Durand.