Having read the article one of the important wisdom that Mother Martha shares is the importance of a simple life and having a good mind. I believe this is so true. If money and stuff could save us there will be no dead billionaire. Having a good, loving mind can go a long way to ensuring a long and happy life. Well, Mother Martha I wish you another year. I will watch for your update next May. God bless you.
101-year-old Mother Martha enjoys reading
the papers and doing puzzles
By Leon Suseran
Martha Bunwarie had turned 100 when she was last featured. She achieved another
101- year- old Martha Bunwarie
milestone recently, turning 101 years old but is just as agile, healthy and is blessed with an eye sight that really adds flavour to her life through the activities in which she is engaged. We caught up, recently, with ‘Mother Martha’ as she is popularly referred to at her Number 64 Village home, where she resides with her granddaughter, Corina Peneux. Born at Number 65 Village, Martha was an avid rice farmer in the area. She attended the New Market Primary School at Number 63 Village after which she started to do rice and fish farming. She migrated to Skeldon in 1941 where she married Henricus Bunwarie at the age of 34. Henricus died in 1988. She returned to Number 64 Village in 1966. She bore one child who died by drowning in 1972. “I grow lots of children. People would come bring their children to go to school; they stay five years, six years; they go away then another set come,” she said. She said that she even ended up ‘buying’ a child. After being a farmer, she became involved in helping mothers deliver their children and cared for them after the deliveries. She was also known for creating concoctions for young mothers who had difficulty becoming pregnant; and they worked, she said. This week, her granddaughter, Corina Peneux, prepared Mother Martha and had her all decked out in her best clothes and stylish hairstyle. She vividly remembered the reporter, quite amazing for a woman her age. “I’m doing good so far! The past year was very nice. I had lots of friends. I didn’t invite anybody for the 101st, but the house was full. We had a nice day and all my friends around, still came around and give me a ‘look-up’”, she said, referring to the day she turned 101. Mother Martha, when asked how she was feeling nowadays, said, “You know, as you getting older, some days you feeling alright…some days I feeling sick…some days I can get up and do something…some days I can’t do anything”. “Age. When I was young, I was a farmer, and you know farming is a very hard thing; then I was a domestic…I worked from 1941”. At that moment, she pointed to a bouquet of flowers that was in the living room and said that it was from the Mayor of Corriverton, Mr. Roy Baijnauth, for whose parents she did domestic work. “He was two years old when I go to work with them. They were the first persons whom I worked with as a domestic at Skeldon.” She added that she worked with different persons including a Catholic priest, Father Brown, “Then when the nuns came to Skeldon, I worked with the nuns”. She cooked, washed and baked for them. She burst into a big laugh when she was reminded that she is still going strong at 101 years and should aim high for 102. “Well, I hope so…I might go for 110!” she stated. “Life is a very sweet thing…Is your mind…you must have a good mind. Life, to me, is sweet, nice, good and we ain’t used to be inside the house; we were domestics… all- rounders”. She added that they used to catch fish, cook, work at the backdam, farmed and planted crops such as rice. “We were quite happy, happy, happy people. My parents had five of us; I am the eldest.” “You wake up in the morning. We never used to buy greens. We planted our own greens in the farm, and we hadn’t oil stove; we had dover stove– a kind of wooden stove, so you cooked and who couldn’t afford, you bought your wood and made your fireside”. She shared how she spends a typical day. “I don’t do anything. I can’t do any work. I wake up at 6:00 or 6:30; and then they make me take my tea; my granddaughter bathes me, change my clothes and I rest, lie down and sleep”. Amazingly, the woman reads a lot since she has very good eyesight. “I reading plenty. I have plenty books. Them books I got…some religious, some is kinda ‘wild’ books as you call…novels and so”. Some of the favourite things she enjoys are juices, lemonade, rice, boulanger, ochro, corilla…no pumpkin– I don’t eat pumpkin– but eat everything else, and my granddaughter gives me everything…bananas, papaws..them treat me nice”. She said that she regularly ate hassar. “When you bite hassar, you mouth full and we don’t catch hassar with hooks to eat…no, every year me buy four heads of twine”. She explained the meticulous process in making the cast net and using it to catch fish. “Thank God I can still see! I don’t hear too well but I can see and read– I does buy the newspaper; I does do search words”, she related. “Just as the paper comes, I take it and do the word search puzzles”. “Boy, God is great. Life depends on your mind. If you got a good mind, everything is alright for you. You must not be living in the world and being wrong; do right things. Don’t rob, thief. Work honest and you get everything you want in this world…God will give you–everything”. “I live happy as a child. I never quarreled with people”, she said. Mother Martha demonstrated her amazing eye- sight as she pointed to various persons and objects in the living room with accuracy, proof that she saw very well. She is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her fourth generation. Peneux’s daughter, Sabrina Leacock, is due to deliver her baby in August this year, giving Mother Martha her first great, great grand. “My father said that God must bless you and then you will live to see your fourth generation…Well I am only asking God to allow me to see my fourth generation very soon”. The centenarian shares a very close relationship with her doctor, Dr. Seepersaud of Skeldon, whom she visits once a month for check- ups. “I am not changing my doctor!” she asserted. Her granddaughter, Corina Peneux, said that Mother Martha has been doing quite well over the past year. She said that her health has been okay and has not really declined much. Unlike the big 300- person- plus 100 birthday celebrations over a year ago, Peneux said that she did not do a big celebration for her 101st birthday; rather a small “get- together” with close family members. We wish Mother Martha another very successful year as she aims for 102