The island’s newest centenarian, Arminta Harrison, surrounded by family, sharing a light moment with Governor General Dame Sandra Mason during a virtual call. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados–November 10th, 2020–There was jubilation and warm smiles everywhere when Arminta Harrison became Barbados’s newest centenarian.

Arminta Harrison: 100 not out.

Governor General Dame Sandra Mason joined family members via Skype during the celebrations at the residence of Mrs. Harrison’s daughter, Fenella Callender, at Kirtons Main Road, St. Philip, last week.

Dame Sandra congratulated the birthday girl, who was immaculately bedecked in a peach lace dress accentuated with an elegant white church hat. In response, Mrs. Harrison said: “I feel good…I feel happy to know that I am yet alive because of God and I am thankful.”

Born in Diamond Valley, but currently residing at Pounder’s Road, St. Philip with daughter Pamela Gittens, Arminta was educated at the nearby Beulah Girls’ School. On leaving school, she worked at Grove Plantation as a laborer until retirement.

The sprightly centenarian met and later wed her sweetheart James (now deceased) in 1965. The union produced eight children, three of whom are deceased.  She also has 15 grand-children, 17 great-grandchildren, and six great-great grands.

Son, Guy Roach, who came into the island from Canada for the celebrations, credited his mum for bestowing principles that followed him and his siblings throughout adulthood.

“She encouraged us to establish a community of family and friends that would uplift us and point out to us when we are right or wrong. The second most important part is our faith in Christ and in Christ alone. She taught us to spend some time worshipping and developing our Christian faith. My mother also encouraged us to educate ourselves and our families, to respect all persons and [be humble],” he underlined.

A devout worshipper of the Church of the Nazarene in the Crane, Mrs. Harrison liked to sing and whistle – the latter talent she demonstrated for the Governor General much to the delight of the gathering. She also liked to cook and bake and readily shared her goodies with others.