Prayers, faith and an active lifestyle are what Diego Martin resident Nora Gibbons attributes to her living a long and prosperous life.
She celebrates her 100th birthday on Monday.
Celebrating the milestone, her family hosted a small celebration on the eve of her birthday at her home at Coral Gardens, in Diego Martin, on Sunday.
Among close relatives and others invited to celebrate was Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox.
Gibbons, who was elated to see the minister, told her that she is a devoted Catholic and quoted her favourite Bible scripture Isaiah 41:10– “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Gibbons actively participated in her church where she was the secretary for many years and was also involved in the church’s Child Welfare League.
Gibbons also told Cox that her active lifestyle played a major role in her attaining her milestone age, noting that she has always been active and enjoys doing gardening, crotchet, sewing, macramé, cake baking, and icing, floral arrangement making and in her later years, crossword puzzles, Sudoku, board games, and adult colouring.
Gibbons imparted words of advice to the younger generation saying: “I have plenty of advice for the younger generation. Be obedient to your parents, be respectful to your elders and those in authority, choose your friends wisely, focus on your education, set goals and work towards those goals and do not be a follow fashion. Do what is right and put your trust in the Lord.”
Cox said she took notes of the factors which contributed to positive ageing and also presented Gibbons with a certificate of achievement and honour, a hamper, and a birthday cake courtesy Kiss Baking Company Limited.
The minister noted that the commemoration forms part of the Ministry’s National Centenarian Programme, which celebrates and showcases the positive contributions of older persons attaining one hundred years and older.
Born to Atherlene Paul and James Oliver, Gibbons is an only child and grew up with her grandmother.
Her favourite foods include corn pie, provision, lentils, pigeon peas, fish or salt fish, baked chicken, pelau, and bhagi rice and enjoys local drinks including mauby and passion fruit.
Wanting to be a teacher, Gibbons instead chose to be a devoted wife and mother to her eight children.