Dozens of relatives and friends from the community of Monchy, Gros Islet, on Saturday, April 4 joined with the Alphonse family to celebrate the long life of Anne Alphonse, better known as Ma Etienne or Noratta.
Among her many friends who gathered to celebrate the milestone was former parliamentary representative Sir Julian Hunte.
“She is really remarkable. They don’t come like Ma Etienne anymore. We are all fortunate to have known her and have her here with us,” Hunte said. “ I went to see her after a long time, and she recognised me almost immediately; that was a touching moment for me.”
Also addressing the short ceremony was former parliamentary representative – now judge of the Caribbean Supreme Court – His Lordship Mario Mitchel, who said: “I too had the good fortune of knowing Ma Etienne, as we affectionately call her. I got my first history lesson of the community of Monchy from Anne, when I got involved with the community 20 years ago.”
The former education minister went on to say: “She told me a lot about the history and the politics of Sir George Charles, Herman Collymore and Carl La Corbiniere. I am happy to have learnt a lot from her and may God bless her.”
Parliamentary Representative Hon. Emma Hippolyte, in her remarks, said: “It’s a blessing to be part of this celebration for Ma Noratta, as you can see and have heard, she was a woman who was in control of her life and surroundings. It’s a proud moment when we can recognise the strength of the women among us. It is that strength that has caused us to have the good communities that we have today. I was pleased to hear Mr. Etienne say it was because of the good upbringing, that he is the man he is today.”
Anne was presented with a bouquet of flowers and a plaque on behalf of the government and people of St. Lucia by Cornelius Lubin, who informed the gathering that Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy, who normally attends such a milestone, was not able to be present because of some mis-communication with the date of the celebration.
Anne Alphonse Etienne was born on April 2, 1915 and gave birth to two sons, who are still alive – Gabriel who is 81 and Robert, 79 years old