Celebrating 100 years on this earth, Lydia Denney sang “Thank you lord” during the birthday celebration held in her honour at Uncle Eddie’s Home yesterday.
Seated in the centre of the room, Lydia sang selected hymns with the Pastor present and other guests as well as fellow residents of the home. She even cut two birthday cakes with her son.
Born in 1914 to Julianna and Dan Asher Denny in Essequibo, Lydia is the youngest and last surviving member of her six siblings. She is the mother of Noel who currently resides in the UK. She met Noel’s father who was a teacher at the time while she was quite young, working as a seamstress. However, he left for the USA to study medicine and their relationship fell apart.
Left to raise her child, Lydia found employment through sewing with members of the US embassy and when it was time for the family to leave, Lydia who was invited to move to Finland with them to continue caring for their younger child, left Guyana. Striving to provide her son with a better chance at life, she also went to Russia as well as West Germany doing similar work.
In the early 60’s Lydia’s sight began to fail and in 1964, she sent her son to live with her brother in the UK where he has lived for the last 50 years. Despite undergoing numerous operations, Lydia’s sight continued to deteriorate.
Unable to work because of her blindness, Lydia returned to Guyana to live with her sister and later moved to Uncle Eddie’s.
Lydia said that her greatest accomplishment in this life was her son Noel and that the secret to living a long life is simply love and peace.
Noel related that even though he does not live here, he is fortunate enough to return to the country every year to see his mother. He said that he believes people should celebrate the elderly members of their families and not just “stick them in a corner.”