Eileen Isolene Clarke clapped her hands in keeping with the tempo of the birthday song being sung by relatives and friends, when she celebrated the glorious age of 100 yesterday.
The Ginger Works, Branchbury, St Joseph resident was the toast of a morning birthday brunch hosted at Radisson Aquatica Resort at Aquatic Gap, St Michael, the highlight of which was a Zoom birthday visit with President The Most Honourable Dame Sandra Mason along with birthday gifts presented on the President’s behalf by Aide-de-Camp, Lieutenant (Coast Guard) Sena Price.
Relatives from overseas flew in to join others in Barbados for the occasion. They showered the mother, grandmother and great grandmother with accolades, sharing personal stories about her impact on their lives.
A mother of eight, Clarke is survived by four children, one of whom was in attendance yesterday. Embracing her while she sat in a wheelchair taking it all in, Edward Inniss recalled his being away from her from age 17, migrating and returning to Barbados in recent years to assist with the care of a mother who he recalled was “very strict” in the upbringing of her children.
Born in Andrew’s Tenantry, St Joseph, Clarke attended St Joseph’s Girls’ School and after completing school, worked as a “domestic servant” and as an agricultural labourer in the fields of Castle Grant Plantation in St Joseph.
Like almost every Barbadian who has lived for a century, Clarke said her favoured food was “ground provisions and a lot of fish”.
As for her longevity, she said it was “God’s favour”. (GC)