St Ann’s oldest, Eunis Pryce, celebrates 108 years
It was a joyous occasion on April 20 when St Ann's oldest person on record, Eunis Pryce, marked her 108th birthday in the quiet farming community of Borobridge.
Pryce is the latest family member to reach 100 years old after her father died at 105 back in the 1960s.
A team consisting of persons from the Civic Affairs Committee of the St Ann Parish Council and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security's National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) joined family members to celebrate the occasion with Pryce, taking her gifts to mark the occasion.
Blessed with good health, the centenarian can still see well enough to read without glasses even though her hearing is not the best.
"She's good. she can still read her Bible and Daily Bread," the last of her six children, Valda Pryce, told Family & Religion in a telephone interview on Wednesday.
Pryce gave birth to six children, four girls and two boys, but two of the girls have predeceased her.
Asked to say what type of person her mother is, Pryce described her as "good, quiet, kind, and very loving".
One of the reasons for her mother's long life, according to her daughter, is because "she used to the ol'-time food, no fertiliser".
It was Pryce who used to go out to the fields with her husband, then a farmer, to cook lunch for everyone, using produce from the farm.
Winston Brown, councillor for the Borobridge Division, lives in the neighbouring community of Wild Cane and has known Pryce for all his life. For several years, he had been advocating for the Civic Affairs and Community to recognise the centenarian and is happy that it has finally happened.
"I've known her from I was born," Brown said. He added: "She has always been a humble and loving person, always the first to give you a smile and offer a word of encouragement."
LEARN A LOT
Genevor Gordon-Bailey, chairman of the Civic Affairs Committee and councillor for the Lime Hall Division, said after hearing that Pryce was turning 108, she decided to organise the visit, with the Ministry of Labour coming on board, through the NCSC.
Gordon-Bailey said the current focus on the elderly was a good thing as there are things that the society can learn from them.
"I think, especially for the women, they always seem to be humble, and one thing she said to us was to trust God. She is an ardent Methodist lady. All of these persons that I've been around the senior citizens, the ones that are doing well they keep telling you to trust God."
Lloydia Williams, parish organiser for the NCSC, concurred with Gordon-Bailey that the society can learn a lot from the elderly.
Williams said that while the office has 13 centenarians on record in St Ann, with Pryce being the oldest, she was sure that there would be more than that in the parish.
Williams said the ministry was trying to keep a log of centenarians across the island.
"There is a lot we can learn from them as they help to promote culture retention," Williams pointed out.