While Britain’s Queen Elizabeth was celebrating her 96th birthday and 75 years on the throne yesterday, Barbadian Audrey Thomas was celebrating her 100th birthday at her Golf Club, Christ Church home, surrounded by an intimate gathering of family.
The well known horticulturalist, who was president of the Barbados Horticultural Society from 1981 to 1983 and one of the people in the vanguard of inspiring Barbadians to get more involved in gardening, was elated to receive an early visit from the postman, bringing a birthday card personally signed by the Queen.
Thomas, a trained nurse, first pursued a career in Canada, before returning to Barbados and marrying Barbadian Colin Thomas, who predeceased her in 2002 after 56 years of marriage.
For many years, she worked at the former Sam Lords Castle hotel, taking care of the extensive gardens on the St Philip property. She translated that love for gardening into the small commercial garden business Growing Things, and repeated her gardening skill and artistry in the gardens at her Golf Club home, which she often opened to the public.
As she held her glass high in a toast to the milestone in her life yesterday, the centenarian remarked: “I had a good life.” GC