Barbados woman celebrates 100th birthday with family, friends

Governor General Dame Sandra Mason (right) looks on as centenarian Madeline Holder salutes one of her guests at yesterday’s birthday party. (Picture by Nigel Browne.)

(Barbados Nation) Madeline Holder’s family went all out for her 100th birthday yesterday.

The centenarian celebrated at the National Union of Public Workers’ auditorium in Dalkeith, St Michael, with more than 100 friends and family.

There was a tuk band, Cultural Ambassador Anthony Gabby Carter, Jamal Barrow as a green monkey, Michael Taitt as a shaggy bear and Gordon Ashby as a stilt walker.

To top all that off, Holder also met with Governor General Dame Sandra Mason.

Holder’s daughter Judy said the shindig was all because her mother was so well loved.

“She’s so well-known and loved, everybody we invited – around 200 – said they would come,” she said.

Holder was born in Thomas Gap, Westbury Road, St Michael. She worked as a seamstress but eventually married and moved to England. She spent 27 years there and relocated to the United States before finally returning home around 30 years ago.

She had seven children, six of whom are alive, and a “countless” number of grandchildren.

“She is a loving, caring mother who raised not only her children but all her nieces and nephews as well, and even now helps with the great-grandchildren,” Judy said. “I’m so happy to see she’s at this age and can still help herself.”

Holder said she felt fine, except for her knees.

“I feel so proud to know I’m known by so many people who love me. I don’t hate no one and everybody loves me,” she said.

Holder said her secret to long life was no secret at all. All it took was a “comfortable mind” and a firm belief in God, she added. (CA)

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