SHARLENE RAMPERSAD

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A Wallerfield woman, who celebrated her 109th birthday yesterday, credits her long life to natural, healthy foods.

Una Webster was born in Santa Cruz in 1911. She had four siblings. In June, her last surviving sister, Clarita Edwards, died. She was 103 at the time.

Webster is still in full control of her senses and she celebrated her birthday with her caretake Valene Benjamin and her relatives at her Cumuto, Wallerfield home.

Benjamin told Guardian Media Webster wanted to celebrate by cooking a meal of fried rice, bar-b-que chicken, stew pork and salad to share with the community.

In a brief interview, Webster told GML her secret to long life was natural foods.

“I eat plenty natural foods, plenty corn, plenty coconut and I had a good time on the estate,” Webster said.

Asked what advice she wanted to pass on to the younger generations, Webster said, “Tell them to pray. I pray all the time.”

Benjamin said she was by Webster’s side last Christmas when both Webster and her sister Clarita celebrated their birthdays together. The two celebrated with a thanksgiving church service at their home.

Webster is one of the few people alive who lived through the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.

She could not remember any details, as she was only seven years old at the time.

And while Benjamin said the COVID-19 pandemic has not changed too much of Webster’s daily routine, it has isolated her from her relatives living in the United States.

“About half of her family live abroad, so sometimes she doesn’t take the pandemic too well, she will get sad when she talks about her family not being to come and visit her,” Benjamin said.

She said Webster did not have children and was married but her husband died in 1950.

She said Webster will eat ‘anything’ and other than a feisty tongue, she has a very agreeable personality.

“She will sit down and chat with me, her mouth not easy but if you talk to her, you are guaranteed to laugh. She doesn’t fuss over anything, she will eat anything I give her.”

She said Webster can walk and get around on her own but she does need some assistance.

“She can help herself but she is going down in age, so some things I or her niece would do for her,” Benjamin said.