Jul 01, 2009 News
“A quiet, sweet and peaceful old soul” – Caregiver
Caregiver and long time friend of the now dead Matilda Lewis, 76-year-old Edith King, amidst reflective smiles, described the centenarian as “a sweet and quiet soul who posed a wealth of historical knowledge and stories of days of old,” whom she will miss dearly.
Today, after a life that allowed her to see the change of the colonial guard to independence; the beginning and end of the First and Second World Wars, the 1945 detonation of the first atomic bomb and outliving five Presidents of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, Matilda Lewis, Guyana’s oldest will be buried today after a memorial service at the St Andrew’s Kirk.
At the age of 113years, one month and 14 days-old she passed away quietly yesterday at about 6:00hrs in her sleep at the Salvation Army’s women’s home.
Save for pains in her joints and losing her sight, Aunt Matilda’s only complaint before she died was a bout of the flu.
King, reflecting on Matilda’s last hours, said hours before she passed, she had advised her against going out in the rains to get to the market.
Fondly referring to Matilda as “Lolol” she said the doctor visited her and after several tests said her only ailment was “old age.” King said, “I’m gonna miss her stories…She used to talk things with sense and wisdom.”
She said that the centenarian has all her mental faculties right up to the time of her death. She was aware of her surroundings and maintained up to date conversation with those around her.
Ms King paid a check on the old woman about 2:00 hours yesterday. When she visited the woman again about 5:00 hours she noticed the woman’s laboured breathing. After six she was dead.
“She was no trouble; she died so peacefully.”
Reverend Oswald Bess had committed to ensuring that Aunt Matilda gets a proper burial but passed away over one month shy of the celebration of her 113th birthday. She was never told of his passing.
However, almost three months after the Reverend’s passing Aunt Matilda’s earthly remains are assured a proper and respectful burial through his prior funeral arrangements at the Lykens.
She has no known living relative, or offspring but by her recollection she told this publication that her date of birth is May 16, 1896 and that her mother was a Barbadian who had relocated to Guyana. She remembered her maternal grandfather’s name is Taitt but never had any recollection of her father.
Matilda Lewis who died before her age could be authenticated, was recorded as Guyana’s oldest living person on May 16 and celebrated it in the company of the women of the St Andrew’s Kirk ‘Deacon Court’ with cakes and drink and prayer meeting.
Also keeping her company on May 16, last, were some children from the Wortmanville environs and though she lost her sight her memory was sharp. She recognized people instantly through their voices. Veteran journalist Francis Quamina Farrier, whom she met when she was about 80-years-old, was one.
When reference was made to her 100 birthday Aunt Matilda recalled the floodwaters that were above her knees on that day. That same day she toted two pails of water upstairs for her bath.
On May 16, last, she said that she was happy that her 113 birthday was a good day filled with sunshine.
Jul 30, 2021Past and future athletes showcase power… Kaieteur News – The oldest and youngest competitors at last Sunday’s Guyana Amateur Powerlifting Federation (GAPLF) Intermediates and Masters...
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]