Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has hailed this country’s latest centenarian, Dorothy “Tanty” Adams, as a nation builder.
The Prime Minister took time away from the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, November 23 to journey to Park Hill to celebrate with Adams on her 100th birthday.
In his glowing tribute to the elderly Park Hill resident, the Prime Minister commented that “it is persons like Tanty, who built this country.”
Apart from being a pillar in the community of Park Hill where she lives, Gonsalves said Adams “is a pillar of the Anglican faith.”
Dorothy Adams was born on November 23, 1922 and in her time, not many persons were educated beyond the primary school level.
However, she made sure that each of her 10 children had an opportunity to be educated, or to learn a trade.
“She always believed in education for her children and grand children.
“She always believed in making sure that they grew up as good Christian persons,” the Prime Minister reflected.
He said “Tanty”, as she is affectionately called, always believed in hard work and in ‘turning her hand’.
“I have tasted her hand many a time; she was a good cook,” Gonsalves said as he reflected on the days when Tanty sold pudding in the village.
She was well known for her potato pudding and bread pudding.
“When she has the pudding pan, I always want the one in the corner… that is the best one,” the Prime Minister recounted.
Having been raised nearby in Colonaire, the Prime Minister, who is currently the Parliamentary Representative for the Constituency in which Park Hill falls, has a first hand knowledge about Adams and her family.
The centenarian was well attired for her 100th birthday celebrations.
“She is looking good; she’s a queen, she is wearing a crown today,” the Prime Minister commented.
He remembered Adams as someone who is always “full of humour,” and said it was “Tanty” who fathered her 10 children, four of whom have already died.
“I am so happy to see that she has made 100, and I believe that she will make many more, and we are praying for that.”
As he entered her home on Wednesday, the Prime Minister presented Adams with two envelopes.
The 100 year old woman also received a fruit basket from the Park Hill Government School, which was represented by two students and two teachers.
Governor General, Dame Susan Dougan, who described herself as a “Park Hill girl” was also present to share in Adams’ 100th birthday celebrations.
Dame Susan came bearing gifts and letters, both from Government House, and also from Buckingham Palace in London, which she represented to the centenarian.
The Governor General said Adams is no stranger to her, as she also grew up in the Anglican Church.
She remembers Adams as “a fixture in the Anglican community.”
“She has remained faithful up to today…her children also grew up in church.”
Dame Susan explained that it is the custom of the Royal Family to pay special tribute to centenarians in countries where the Monarch is Head of State, such as St Vincent and the Grenadines, and she did so, on behalf of King Charles 111.
She thanked Adams for her contribution to nation building in St Vincent and the Grenadines, and presented her with a letter from Buckingham Palace.
Not only was Adams celebrated by Royalty and dignitaries, but many persons from Park Hill and neighbouring communities, even as far as Georgetown, all turned out to be part of the 100th birthday celebrations.
Many Park Hill residents expressed pride in having a centenarian among them, and in having a woman filled with integrity and faith in their midst.