Seychelles' oldest citizen celebrates milestone birthday: 111
Seychelles' grandest dame celebrated her day surrounded by families and friends at her home at Ma Joie. (William Herminie)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles' oldest citizen, Nancy Marie, has celebrated another milestone birthday: 111.
Marie celebrated her birthday on January 26, setting another new record for the island nation.
Seychelles' grandest dame celebrated her day surrounded by families and friends at her home at Ma Joie in the central Mahe district of English River.
Affectionately known as 'Dada' -- Marie was born in 1909 on Praslin, the second-most populated island of Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
She is the mother of two -- 67-year-old Anne who celebrated her birthday a day before and 69-year-old son Guy. Marie also has five grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Speaking to SNA, her daughter, Anne Marie, said her mother is still very strong for her age.
"When she wakes up in the morning she does her morning routine, makes her own tea, does the dishes. She is happy like that and enjoys doing her chores," said Anne.
She added that her mother enjoys talking to the younger ones in the family who also keep her entertained throughout the day. Marie is cared for by one of her granddaughters.
"I am so happy that she has reached 111 and this truly calls for a celebration. I do hope she lives to celebrate many more birthdays. As it is now she has set a new record by being the oldest person in Seychelles," added Anne.
Apart from close families and friends, Marie also received good wishes from President Danny Faure conveyed by the special advisor for Local Government, Dan Frichot. Also present at the momentous celebration were the elected member of the National Assembly for English River, Wilbert Herminie, and the district administration officer, Nicole Gabriel.
|Apart from close family and friends, representatives of the English River district and the Local Government Department were also present. (William Herminie) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
The district administration officer said the whole community was proud of Marie's achievement.
"She is considered the 'archive' of our district; she knows so many things and there are so many things we have learned from her, so to us she's a gem, a national treasure for our district and the country in general," said Gabriel.
She added that the district authorities are always finding ways to improve Marie's wellbeing.
"We recently fixed the road that leads to her house so that it is easier for vehicles to reach her place and we plan to increase our visits to her to ensure she is well cared for and she has everything she needs to have a great life. We hope she reaches 115," Gabriel said.
For most of her life, Nancy worked as a housemaid at the Delpeche family residence on Praslin and the two families were very close. In her younger age, she enjoyed vegetables, tea and cooking, most especially chicken.
Marie is not the first in her family to reach 100 years; her mother Elizabelle Marie lived to see 103 years.
According to the 2018 figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, the number of years a male is expected to live in Seychelles is 70 years and for female it is 79 years.
There are currently nine centenarians in Seychelles and they are all women.