100 years old and counting ... Lemaud Reid-Stephens still going strong

December 24, 2016

• Lemaud Reid-Stephens still going strong

Lemaud Reid-Stephens has reached the ripe age of 100 years old is and looking forward to living longer.

Reid-Stephens, who is from Bamboo Top, March Town in Hanover, does not suffer from any of the non-communicable lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

Born on December 14, 1916, Reid-Stephens is the first of 12 children for her parents, and has outlived most of her siblings. Today, she has only one brother and one sister still alive. That brother is now 95 years old while the sister is in her 80s.

Reid-Stephens was, of course, the main attraction at her 100th birthday party held at her home in Bamboo Top, March Town, recently.

Gathered to celebrate the auspicious occasion with her were friends and family, including her six remaining children, 16 grand-children, 27 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren.

Reid-Stephens attended the Cave Valley Elementary School in her tender years, which gave her enough basic education for her to be able to read and write very well. She told her children that her only regret in life is that she never got the opportunity to do some formal training in midwifery. During her early years, she was the unofficial midwife for her district, delivering several babies in that area, including some of her grandchildren.

In addition to having served as midwife, Reid-Stephens is known throughout her community for her culinary skills. The story is told that those skills came to the fore in her early years as she worked within the sugar industry within the area, preparing meals for other workers.

Her granddaughter, Shirley Rowe, told THE STAR that her grandmother was a quite unassuming person who was a great cook, bakes well and eats a lot of natural unfertilised food and a lot of vegetables.

"She also made her own coconut oil and eats a lot of fish," Rowe said of her grandmother, who has been a widow since 1992.

She told THE STAR that when her grandmother lost one of her sisters some five years ago, her health started to deteriorate to the point where she has now lost her ability to speak. Nevertheless, Rowe said Reid-Stephens does not suffer from any other major illness.

"At 95 years old she was still reading her newspaper without the use of glasses," one of her granddaughters stated.

"If anybody else no read The Gleaner, our grandmother have to get her Gleaner. She used to read her Gleaner every day."

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