This island’s oldest surviving male centenarian, Melville Williams, was “bowled over” when he was presented with his Centenarian of Barbados – the Foundation Builders Website appreciation award on Tuesday, October 29.
Dressed in his trademark, white cowboy hat, the 109-year-old Williams impressed a team from the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) and the Ministry of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs with his sharp wit and excellent recall of events.
Deputy Chief Information Officer, Ian Inniss, along with Administrative Officer of the Ministry, Sherland Turton, made the presentation at Williams’ home at Lonesome Hill, St. Peter.
The supercentenarian thanked Mr. Inniss for the gesture and remarked: “There should have been a 100 people here to see this.”
The master saddler, who calls himself the “youngest old man,” showed the team a bag of his prized horse collars, blinkers, the saddle and other items which he made in his younger days.
During the visit, Mr. Williams, recited parts of Psalm 23, noting that “He maketh me, Melville Uriah Williams, to lie down in green pastures”, and affirmed that he would be going to heaven when he passes on.
Though not as active and restricted in movement, Melville is still in good health and spirits. He enjoys ham and eggs daily with onions and tomatoes, and green tea with a shot of Hennessey Brandy mixed with Angostura and Ginger Wine, which he drinks twice daily.
One of his caretakers, Malisha Walrond, said “Mel”, as she affectionately calls him, still had a caring heart and loves to help people even though he is now in his twilight years.
Last Friday, October 25, the BGIS launched the Centenarians of Barbados website, in honour of the island’s centenarians past and present.