Centenarian Olga Sharpe-Griffith celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday with President of Barbados, Her Excellency, The Most Honourable Dame Sandra Mason via Zoom, along with a gathering of friends and family, both in person and via Zoom.
Mrs. Sharpe-Griffith received flowers, cards, gifts, and well wishes, and persons reflected on the relationships they had developed with the centenarian over the years. Family members from as far as Europe travelled to Barbados to spend this special day with her.
After a blessing from Reverend Desmond Ward of St. Alban’s Anglican Church, where Mrs. Sharpe-Griffith attends, her niece, Stephanie Rocchi, paid her a tribute.
Ms. Rocchi remarked: “What a wonderful achievement for a strong and independent woman, who has been a friend to so many people and like a mother to me. You taught me so many things, including not to hold malice toward anyone and to always be forgiving.”
At the request of Her Excellency, the centenarian shared a few facts about herself, stating: “I cook my food on Sundays, my pigeon peas and rice. I help myself and go and get my ‘Proper Pork’, or buy my half turkey.”
Mrs. Sharpe-Griffith continued: “I was married three times. I lost all three in death, no divorces. I am a lady and I believe in prayer…. I am my own boss, after the Lord. I like to take the bus and get out.”
The Centenarian also shared that when she prays, she does not pray for herself alone, as she would “lift up” her neighbours in prayer, stating it “keeps me alive and that keeps me anchored”.
Her favourite foods include rice and pigeon peas, Bajan soup (with pigtail) as well as pudding and souse. She has a special love for chocolate and Stone’s Ginger Wine.
When asked what contributed to her longevity, Mrs. Sharpe-Griffith, who reads without the use of glasses and walks unaided, replied: “The grace of the Lord. I keep anchored with Him.”
Mrs. Sharpe-Griffith shared that she was born in Trinidad and travelled a lot. She lived in Curacao, and the United States, and finally settled down in Barbados, where she married her third husband.
In addition to her reliance on God, she said what stood her well throughout the years was her careful management of her money. The centenarian stated: “I came along as a child poor, but I served God in spirit and in truth…. I spent my money wisely because I knew how I earned it.”
Dame Sandra expressed gratitude for being a part of the centenarian’s special day, and noted: “Remember as I said before, God has been very good to you and I want to wish you the best for all of the remaining years that He is going to grant you…. I want to thank persons like yourself who have made Barbados the country that it is. Remember, to keep God in front….”
Mrs. Sharpe-Griffith worked at C. F. Harrisons as a Max Factor Sales Representative, and then as an Administrator at The High School of Fashion Industries in New York, where she retired and returned to Barbados. Her friends and family, both at her home and online, commented on her continued strong sense of style and fashion and her happiness with life.
She has one brother and two step-children.