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Trinidad: ‘Hot mouth’ Irene celebrates 104th birthday

By TRINIDAD GUARDIAN

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Irene Barrington, of Fyzabad, celebrated her 104th birthday on Saturday with her children and grandchildren.

(TRINIDAD GUARDIAN) — Proud­ly singing her re­li­gious songs, Irene Bar­ring­ton de­clared, “I love my singing and I love every­body who loves their singing.”

Singing is Irene’s favourite pas­time, es­pe­cial­ly now that her health, in the past three weeks, has de­te­ri­o­rat­ed some­what.

So, at 104 she spends a lot of time singing and ly­ing down.

Cel­e­brat­ing her birth­day with her chil­dren and oth­er rel­a­tives at Robert Trace in Fyz­abad on Sat­ur­day, Irene ser­e­nad­ed her­self and oth­ers.

Af­ter singing “One Day At a Time, Sweet Je­sus,” she joked with Guardian Me­dia’s video jour­nal­ist Ivan Toolsie ask­ing, “What you want bet­ter than that, noth­ing.”

This moth­er of eight, grand­moth­er of 25, great-grand­moth­er of 45 and great-great-grand­moth­er of 60, al­so has a saucy mouth. Three of her chil­dren have since died.

Her sec­ond-born, Miri­am Floyd, 76, said her moth­er al­ways had a hot mouth and was a very forth­right per­son.

“She was a very hard work­ing per­son, a no-non­sense per­son. The way she brought us up the things chil­dren do­ing now ah days we could not do that. Her mouth was very saucy, it still hot. She was a very se­ri­ous per­son. She nev­er bring up chil­dren any­how or way­ward. Up to now, I am 76-years-old and I nev­er one day ste­ups or say damn in front of my moth­er to tell you how we grow with that re­spect. She said her moth­er, an In­de­pen­dent Bap­tist, al­so en­sured that they went to church every Sun­day even if they were sick.

Their fa­ther passed away in 1992 at the age of 78. Irene grew up in George Vil­lage, Table­land and did do­mes­tic work. As for her moth­er’s se­cret to longevi­ty, Floyd said, “Is through God. God has her liv­ing for so long.”

She is the longest liv­ing per­son in the his­to­ry of their fam­i­ly. She said her moth­er used to get up, wash her clothes and cook, but she has not been well in the past few weeks.

De­spite her age, Floyd said her moth­er nev­er had any spe­cial di­et. While Irene ate what­ev­er she felt like, her favourite meals are yam and salt-fish and fish and coo-coo. The great-great-grand­moth­er had this mes­sage for the young peo­ple, “Obey your par­ents and the el­der­ly.” Asked what was her birth­day wish, Irene said, “Every­thing I get to­day.”

Ac­knowl­edg­ing her fail­ing health, she said, “I can­not work again. I have to rest now. All I could do is sit down and sing.”

Af­ter giv­ing a ren­di­tion of Hold­ing On To Je­sus, she said, “I just love my singing. I singing in the day, I sing in the night. I singing all the time.”

The fam­i­ly got a beau­ti­ful birth­day cake for her and cel­e­brat­ed her life with prayer.

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