Carter joins 100 club

Lena Carter is the island’s latest centenarian.

The jovial birthday girl was today celebrated by family, friends, members of the clergy and Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave as she marked the special occasion.

Lena Carter’s daughter Denise Messiah reading her birthday card as the Governor General looks on.

Carter, who was very chatty during the celebration, frequently asked the Governor General how he knew her. When asked how old she was, Carter responded, “I don’t know”, but quickly added, “them say I’m 100”, which evoked much laughter from the gathering.

Sir Elliott said he was especially glad to be celebrating with Carter after visiting her last year, at the request of her family, when she turned 99.

As he spoke to the centenarian, she urged him to “speak up so I can hear you properly”, which made the head of state laugh out loud.

Carter’s caretaker Carmen Hoyte, who has been looking after her since 2009, said she was a joy to look after and she had grown to love the elderly woman very much.

Lena Carter’s caretaker Carmen Hoyte.

“She likes singing. She sings when she’s happy or upset. She likes to make up songs and I help her. She tells me to sing and I would just start to sing. She used to go to church and she loves the hymns,” Hoyte said.

“She doesn’t have illness. She can’t eat certain things, but other than that she’s good. She loves pasta, breadfruit and dumplings.”

Hoyte added that the centenarian liked to play tricks with her during the day but said that was what made taking care of her so much fun.

Carter was married to the late Vernon Cuthbert Carter. That union produced six children, one of whom is now deceased. Carter has six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Lena Carter’s son-in-law Canon Errington Messiah speaking about the centenarian.

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