A quieter party for her 102nd
She has completed 100; and she is still climbing the ladder.
Yesterday, Ione Aletha Beckles of Coach Hill, St John, celebrated her 102nd birthday with family and friends at a quiet function at her home.
Ione is not functioning at her fullest capacity mentally, but is yet able to move around the home freely –– on her own.
The mother of five –– the eldest being 75 and youngest, 64 –– still makes her way unassisted to the bathroom when she needs to.
And when it comes to her diet, her daughter Cleotha Stapleton told Barbados TODAY the elderly woman still had
a hearty appetite.
“On mornings, my brother whom she lives with, would give her her breakfast, and then she would come out and sit in the front room and look through the window.
“She knows everybody who passes . . . and she would tell you who is going down the road. And that is pretty much what she does during the day,” the daughter explained.
Cleotha recalled that her mother was a very good seamstress who sewed some of the finest clothing and made outstanding hats for people from the community and beyond. Her deceased husband Ethelbert Beckles was a foreman at the Barbados Water Authority.
Cleotha, Ione’s third child, remembers her mother as being quite strict, but one who humbly and loyally raised not only her children, but also some of her 13 grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews.
“She was a disciplinarian, and many would tell you that for sure,” Cleotha said of her mum who has nine great-grandchildren.
When Ione became 100, she did not receive a visit from the Governor General, as is the norm for centenarians, because, according to her children, they were unable to get the paperwork to show proof of age to authorities on time. The occasion, nevertheless, was well celebrated, preceding the 100th birthday which too was marked with a grand celebration.
This year, the family decided to have a quiet anniversary affair instead. The celebrations of the two years before,
it seemed, had created an excitement that was becoming too much for Ione to handle.