Still sprightly enough to cut her own cake, Winifred Childs may be the oldest person in Bermuda after celebrating 106 years on Saturday.
Ms Childs, also known as Winnie, was ushered by family and staff to the ceremony at Westmeath Residential and Nursing Home, where she arranged the furniture to her liking before taking her seat.
Wished many happy more by The Royal Gazette, Ms Childs quipped: “Do I have to?”
Sue Malpas, her great-niece, told her she had made it this far and her hair still looked great.
As Ms Childs raised a glass of champagne, her nephew, Peter Hebberd, said she recalled a “completely different” Bermuda from her early days.
“She said it was not very pretty, the whole island was covered in cedars and there weren’t many flowers,” Mr Hebberd said. “The roads were made of crushed limestone, with horse manure everywhere, and nobody had any money.”
Ms Childs cycled or rode the railway to her first job at Wadson’s bicycle repair on Front Street, before the advent of cars.
Most Bermudians were getting around by pedal cycle.
Mr Hebberd added: “She grew up on the north side of the hill near Cable & Wireless in Devonshire when there were nothing but two houses. For Christmas they would go out and cut a cedar.”
Akilah Reid, the activities co-ordinator at Westmeath, said she had tried to confirm officially that Ms Childs was Bermuda’s most senior, but had been told the information was confidential.
Walter Roban, the Deputy Premier, presented Ms Childs with a bouquet and said: “She is the oldest on the island — born before the First World War. That’s amazing.”
Mr Roban added: “You’re a star, and we’re happy you’re still with us. You’re an example of so much history and change we’ve experienced as a country. It’s wonderful.”