Antigua and Barbuda’s oldest centenarian, Hyacinth Mottley, who has lived in Antigua and Barbuda for over 75 years, is celebrating her 107th birthday today.
Born on May 13, 1914, in Barbados, Mottley left her job as a teacher while she was in her 20s, and embarked on a remarkable journey that took her to several Caribbean islands, from Trinidad to St Croix and everywhere in between. From these travels she gained many interesting life experiences and lessons.
During her early years in Antigua, she worked as a maid in many prominent households, including the Derricks and Birds.
In the mid-1950’s, she decided leave domestic work behind and work for herself. She began by selling trinkets and other goods out of a suitcase as she trudged through many villages throughout Antigua.
In so doing, she gained hundreds of clients, many of whom later sought her out for her wisdom, insight and help in dealing with life’s difficulties and challenges.
Her favourite foods are ground provisions, pepper pot, lettuce and citrus fruits, but not much meat.
One of her favourite has one sayings is “while most people kneel and pray- I walk and pray”.
Ms Mottley has one son, Dr Marcus Mottley, two grandsons, Tijani and Yohance Mottley, and one great granddaughter, Leigha Mottley.
She is a member of the Roman Catholic Church which she attended every Sunday for most of her years in Antigua.