Centenarian attributes longevity to being neighbour’s keeper

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Impressive warri player Majorie Edwards Abbott can defeat any challenger, and that is exactly what she did yesterday while celebrating her 103rd birthday.
When asked by this reporter what was the secret to her longevity, she smiled sweetly and whispered, “Love the Lord, live good with people, and God will take care of the rest,” adding that she loved and cared for the children in her community.
The Willikies woman is one of 18 living centenarians residing in Antigua and Barbuda, six of whom hail from the eastern side of the island.
Abbott, who had one child, Cora Otto, comes from a family of long-livers. Her younger sister, Thelma Edwards resides in the U.S. Virgin Islands and is 99 years old and her brother, 94 years old Rolston Edwards of Falmouth is still going strong, despite suffering a stroke.
Sir Rodney Williams, governor general, whose family was close to the Abbotts joked about changing his address and moving to the eastern side of the island, so he too could be blessed with extended life.
He also commended the Abbotts family for still caring for the centenarian at her Willikies home, acknowledging there are challenges with caring for the elderly.
The Willikies centenarian can still hear, see and walk without any aid, and is lucid and most engaging in conversation with anyone who spoke to her.
“Tell them to love Jesus. I love him so much and be kind to everyone,” was the message she gave Lorna Piper, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Social Transformation, to give to the nation.
Reverend Deacon Llew-ellyn Dyer credited the devout Catholic with being instrumental in getting a Catholic church in her community. He also stated that she organised for parishioners to be transported from her village to Tyrells before the Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church was established.
In her younger days, Abbott and her husband were fisherfolk and farmers, and she was a baker, butcher and a controller of the pound, where she reared animals and knitted fishing nets.
She also collected union dues for the Antigua Trades and Labour Union.
Sir Robin Yearwood, member of parliament; members of Sons and Daughters of Willikies; the Community Development Division within the Ministry of Social Transformation; Shawn Nicholas, general secretary of the United Progressive Party; family members, some of whom travelled from the U.S. specifically for the birthday celebration and well-wishers joined in singing of the birthday song.
While she was mother to a single child, Sir Robin said Abbott was a disciplinarian and mother-figure to many in her community.
Meantime, Maude Warner of the same commmunity, who now resides at an elderly home in lower Gambles, celebrated her 102nd birthday on Thursday.

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