Margaret Pouponneau: Seychelles' oldest citizen passes away aged 111
Pouponneau, who was born on August 15, 1912, celebrated her birthday two months ago.
Seychelles has lost its oldest citizen, Margaret Woodfield Pouponneau, aged 111, who passed away on Wednesday morning. Pouponneau died at the Seychelles Hospital, where she was admitted the day before.
Pouponneau became the oldest centenarian in 2021 at the age of 109, after the death of Nancy Marie at 112 years old in May of that year.
"It is with a deep sense of sorrow and personal loss that we learned of the passing of Mrs. Pouponneau. Over the years, I have had the privilege to have many encounters with Mrs Pouponneau as a member of my district, St Louis, and as the country's oldest citizen," said the President of Seychelles Wavel Ramkalawan on Wednesday.
In his message, the head of state expressed the most profound condolences to the family of the centenarian.
"As a devoted mother, Mrs. Pouponneau was always surrounded by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. On behalf of the country and on my personal behalf, we convey our sincere condolence to her family and friends, wishing them courage during this time of great loss," said Ramkalawan.
|Pouponneau with President Ramkalawan and First Lady in a special mass on the occasion of her 110th birthday last year. (Seychelles Nation) Photo license: CC-BY
Hailing from the central district of St Louis on the main island of Mahe, Pouponneau, who was born on August 15, 1912, celebrated her birthday two months ago. Her birthday coincided with the La Digue Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, a religious and much-commemorated day in Seychelles – an archipelago of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
Pouponneau spent her last earthly birthday surrounded by loved ones at her residence, with a special mass presided over by Anglican Priest Father Bryan Volcere and animated by members of the St Paul's Mothers' Union, a Christian charity that she was a member of.
Pouponneau, whose maiden name was Gill, came from a family of seven. All her siblings, four brothers, and two sisters, have since passed away. Her husband Wilby died in 1982.
A former language teacher, Pouponneau quit her job to take care of her own family – three daughters and a son. She later took up sewing and was a renowned seamstress who could sew anything from school uniforms to wedding dresses. Up until 2020, she could still read her bible.
Pouponneau was one of the 13 centenarians in Seychelles – 10 women and one man.
Noemie Benoit aged 107 who resides in the eastern district of Cascade, is now the oldest citizen of the island nation.
The other centenarians are Antionette Barrack, aged 104, Antonia Antoine, aged 103, Claire Coutts, aged 101. Also 101 are Theresia Flore and Noemie Payet.
The following elders are 100 years old: Evangeline Joubert, Mireille Changty Seng, Noellie Jeremie, Esterillia Lemiel, and the only man is Raymond Hoaureau.