Happy to be alive

Centenarian Eloise Stoute shares a light moment with Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave earlier today.

Barbados’ newest centenarian, Eloise Stoute, says she is happy.

This morning Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave visited her at the Geriatric Hospital in Beckles Road, St. Michael to participate in her birthday celebrations. She told family, friends, staff and other well-wishers that she felt contented.

“I get feed in the mornings, midday I get a lunch and another in the evening, what more I want? Well if you ain’t working you ain’t had no right with so much,” she said.

The feisty woman was born and raised in Goodland, Christ Church and she was never married. She has one child, Velda King, one granddaughter, Elaine King and one great grand Chantal King. Her family resides in Montreal, Canada and they were all present to celebrate with her. Stoute said she liked Goodland and she never went to Canada and never wanted to go.

“I gine Goodland, Oistins and Bridgetown and that is all I want,” he said.

Velda described her mother as the best in the world. She said when she was growing up she was a disciplinarian and a no non-sense type of person.

“She taught me the value of life – respect. If I did anything wrong she would bring out the tamarind rod. She always made sure I was well dressed and clean”.”

As a young woman, Stoute said she did not have time for parties as she was busy working on a plantation in Kingsland, Christ Church or selling sea eggs in Bridgetown.

“I used to sell sea eggs belong to my uncle. I would go town and sell them every day. Can’t see them now; all the sea eggs gone. They say none ain’t in the sea – sea eggs gone. Flying fish now you got to look for; but sea eggs done with. I never catch none, I stand pun the shore he bring them in and heap them up and I break. I can’t pick, I would clean them out- 50 cent for one, 50 cent for a shell,” she said.

The former St. Christopher Primary school student has been living at the hospital for five years, her granddaughter said. Her only issue, she said, was her poor vision but the very alert woman insisted that “fresh glasses” would solve that problem.

Some of the foods she enjoyed were stew potatoes with some salt and pork chops. However, she was very particular about how the pork was prepared.

“I would make my own pork chops because when I make my own pork chops I cut out the bone, ’cause the bone ain’t breaking out my teeth. If I was sucking that bone I could of got these?” she asked, as she showed the Governor General her teeth.

“The doctor tell me, ‘Stoute you gine dead with them!’. I keeping them bright because I ain’t gonna pop them out”.

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