Seychellois centenarian dances through birthday 107
Nancy ready to cut her 107th birthday cake. ( Louis Toussaint, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Old age did not stop Nancy Marie from hitting the dance floor in celebration of her 107th birthday last week.
Marie is the oldest person in the island nation of Seychelles, and given her high energy levels, she may also have located a secret island fountain of youth.
At first glance, Marie would seem a few decades younger. Her soft face holds few wrinkles and her vibrant smile makes one wish to live as long as she has.
“I am very happy to have reached 107 years old,” Marie told SNA with a laugh just before her birthday party last Friday.
Surrounded by 20 family members and friends, Marie happily danced the night away till around midnight.
Now Marie is only three years away from breaking the country’s record for oldest person. The oldest Seychellois on record lived to age 110, according to Marie Antoinette Nanon, senior program assistant at the department of Social Affairs.
Average life expectancy for Seychellois women is 76.5 years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
The island’s current oldest lady is generally in great health but gets hit with the flu occasionally. In her child-bearing years, Marie survived a serious illness that was so severe she was even given her last rites. That was her last major bout of bad health, said her daughter, Anne Marie, 63.
Nancy Marie can still do a lot on her own, including house chores, cooking and sewing. She even still has a firm hand in disciplining her 10 great grandchildren, who despite the occasional tough love still show great affection for their great grandmother, said Anne Marie.
|Nancy with grand children and great grand children taking a souvenir photo. ( Louis Toussaint, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Nancy Marie lives at Ma Joie with Anne Marie, several grand children and great grand children. Everyone in the family knows their matriarch can still get feisty.
“We will often get a hard time with her when it’s time to go to bed. She will not move from the television till (the station’s) end of transmission,” says Marguerite Marie, one of Nancy’s grandchildren.
Nancy Marie has always been a single mother of two. Guy Marie, 66, is her only son. For most of her life Nancy worked as a house maid at the Delpeche family of Praslin. The two families were very close.
Nancy Marie was born on Praslin, the second-largest island of the Seychelles. In her younger age she enjoyed vegetables, tea and most especially chicken. To date, Nancy Marie still takes the helm of the family house and has dinner ready at the end of the day.
“She is a brave and devoted mother with a lot of great values,” said her granddaughter Marguerite Marie.