The St. Crispin’s Home for the Aged in Woodbrook celebrated two 100th birthdays in 2022 as Ms. Elmira Solomon, born on February 8th, and Ms. Grace Job, born on May 15th, both celebrated their 100th birthdays this year.
At the celebration today, the Home’s two oldest residents were surrounded by family, friends, staff, and residents of the home. The staff of the Ministry’s Division of Ageing and Corporate Communications and Education Unit also joined the celebrations.
When asked about the secret to longevity, Ms. Solomon told staff that she has no secret or special requirements for living to one hundred, however, she took care of herself, danced to the sounds of Sel Duncan, and enjoyed life. According to Ms. Solomon. “I love to dance, not what they are doing now but in my time. I enjoyed every bit of my life when it was my time. I had a jolly good old time” she said.
“As long as it (the music) was something good, I danced. And when you dance, you make new friends so enjoy it when you could and do not wait until it is too late. If you don’t use your talent, you would lose it but do not abuse it” she continued.
The mother of four and grandmother to nine also said that much of the world has changed and recalls growing up in Belmont where tracks existed instead of streets. She also noted that parents ought to keep a keen interest in their children stating “parents are hardly taking interest in their children’s activities; The children doing what they want to do. Pay attention to your parents. Take pride in yourself and don’t make anyone make you do what you do not want to do.”
Ms. Job shared similar sentiments and urged this generation to live morally upright which she also attributes as her key to longevity. According to Ms. Job “Behave yourselves, do not let your mother talk too much, obey your parents, don’t thief, don’t lie, and at all times tell the truth.”
Both centenarians also credited the Almighty, noting that it is He who has kept them for all of these years.
Fondly called Jobie or Gracie, Ms. Job said she was born in Four Roads, Diego Martin where she lived with her mother and then with her godmother in Port of Spain. She met her husband of forty-one years when he visited from Tobago to work on a project in Trinidad and together they have three children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. She said she functioned as a housewife and when her children entered primary school, she began working as a medical orderly at the Port of Spain General Hospital. She said that the most important lesson she has learned in life is “always save for a rainy day and never put all your eggs in one basket.” The new centenarian said she now spends her days resting and dialoguing with her caregiver.
Ms. Solomon, on the other hand, said that she now spends her days reading the Bible, and watching television. The Belmont native who was employed as a seamstress at a shirt factory also said that she is pleased that she was able to purchase a house for her mother and that she was able to provide for her children.
Both Ms. Solomon and Ms. Job were then presented with certificates of Honour and Achievement, fruit baskets, and a cake sponsored by the Kiss Baking Company.
The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services was pleased to honour Ms. Solomon and Ms. Job as part of the National Centenarian Programme. To register for the Programme, persons may visit the Ministry’s website at www.social.gov.tt and complete the online form or print a downloadable form for completion. Completed forms may be dropped off at the nearest Social Welfare Office or emailed to the Division of Ageing at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, persons may contact the Division of Ageing at 623 – 2608; Ext 2001 to 2009 or 800-OPIC (6742).