ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Willikies residents joined proud family and friends of Ruby “Dada” Joseph nee Grant for a celebration of her 103rd birthday.
A mother of 10, two already deceased, Joseph was a housewife who cared for the children she shared with her dearly departed husband Walton, who passed away in 1975.
“She worked very hard for us. I am so happy and this is why I (am) forced to be here. I could not get a flight out and I waited for hours until I could get one,” Joseph’s eldest daughter, Ruthlyn Sexuis of St Croix said yesterday.
Caregiver of 12 years Patricia Belle said Joseph enjoys drinking Ensure and juice and loves custard porridge.
“At 103 she is looking really lovely. She has lived a fruitful life and her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and her extended family is very large,” a bus driver in the village said. “She really staked her name in this village’s history and she is loved by many as an authoritative woman.”
Her lone surviving sibling is 93-year-old Ethel Charles.
Governor General’s Deputy Sir Eustace Francis and his wife Lady Rita, who presented the birthday lady with a card and a bouquet of flowers, joined in celebrating Joseph’s milestone.
“The women of the family live long; the men don’t do so well,” Joseph’s son Fred said. “I had an aunt Albertine Grant (her sister) who died last year at 96 years old.”
Born to Mary and Christopher Grant in Willikies in 1909, she attended the Willikies Government School and married some time in the 1930s.
“Dada” has lost hearing in her left ear, however her sight is still intact. She is one of eight centenarians living in Antigua & Barbuda with the eldest being 110 years old.