Centenarian Alfreda Georges takes a call on her birthday
Centenarian Alfreda Georges takes a call on her birthday

When Alfreda Georges-- known as 'Aunty Freda'—celebrated her 102nd birthday on Wednesday August 12, she wholeheartedly gave thanks to God for granting her a long and fruitful life.

With grace, humility and absolute certainty, Aunty Freda shared the secret of her longevity, "God said if I serve him He will take care of me because He loves me and will better my life . . . all my life I have been dependent on God."

She now lives at Premium Home and Residential Care Services (PHARCS), but her roots are in La Plaine where she was the youngest of her parents' eight children.

Along with her parents, sisters and brothers, she moved to Pointe Mitchel when she was five years old. She attended the Pointe Mitchel Primary School where her father JH Duport Georges was head teacher.

Education was very important to her parents. She recalled that on Saturdays when other children in the village were out playing games her father kept his children inside to study and complete their homework.

She also recalled that her parents accepted the then conventional belief that educated persons should not speak Kwéyòl. They referred to the patois dialect as "donkey language" and banned their children from speaking it at home.

Aunty Freda said her father, an avid sportsman, ensured that all his children played sports. Cricket was her favourite sport and she also enjoyed weightlifting, a sport in which she represented Dominica in Barbados.

The centenarian said she attended Convent High School where she was a straight-A student. After she graduated, through her father's influence she became a teacher at Convent Preparatory School and taught there for three years.

Later, she joined HHV Whitchurch and Company where she remained for quite some time. Then she joined the Public Service and worked there for the rest of her career, eventually retiring as auditor in the Ministry of Public Works.

Aunty Freda has always been an active member of the Catholic Church and she recalls being involved in the church's establishment of St Agnes Book Store on Cross Street, which sells religious paraphernalia to this day.

Aunty Freda played memorable role in the upbringing of her nieces and nephews. One of her nieces, Veronica Nicholas known as 'Ma Boyd' said her aunt was a staunch Catholic and a strict disciplinarian.

"My aunt, as I knew her, was a very serious person she did not know 'white lie' or 'big lie'. She wanted you to be straightforward and she was a strict Catholic. She believed in her faith . . . she never wavered," Nicholas said.

According to her niece, Aunty Freda believed in tough love. She scolded children when they did wrong and, while she did not beat them, she sometimes pinched them as punishment for serious misdeeds.

Ma Boyd confessed that when she was growing up she often misunderstood her aunt's firm guidance and resented her aunt's strictness, but as time passed she realized it was for her benefit.

"She was . . . always correcting me, but now that I am an adult and have children I realize that my aunt . . . meant everything good for me," Ma Boyd said.

As she moves into her 103rd year of life, Aunty Freda Georges continues to radiate the fundamental feature of her personality—

Unwavering faith and devotion to Almighty God!