Elizabeth Morgan, Sandy Bay’s “Queen Elizabeth” is 103 years old. (Photo: Gloridence Hoyte-John)

By Gloridene Hoyte-John

Elizabeth Morgan, described by fellow villager Alida Cordice as “a national hero of Sandy Bay”, was appreciated on Friday, the eve of National Heroes Day.

Morgan, who is also known as “Queen Elizabeth”, was treated to a belated celebration of her 103rd birthday, which fell on Jan. 8. 

“Queen Elizabeth”, wearing the yellow, black and white of the Garifuna, the First People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, was carried from her house just across the street to the Sandy Bay Clinic, where the event took place.

In presenting a brief biography on Morgan, Cordice, a retired teacher, hailed the centenarian as “an icon in our community”.

She told the small gathering of retired nurses, members of the Sandy Diabetic and Hypertensive groups, relatives, friends and well-wishers that as a child, Morgan travelled to Owia for church and school.

Cordice said that because of the strong leadership of “old teacher Daniel” who operated both institutions, whether at church or school, one always had to obey.

 She said this is one of the qualities that Morgan developed. 

As if on cue, Morgan responded, “Amen! True!”

Morgan enjoyed riding the donkey for the “hard buff” it would give. (At times, the donkeys would suddenly begin to gallop, throwing the riders from its back, and the resulting blow is referred to colloquially as a “buff”.)

This was a sport for Morgan, who laughed heartily at the memory.

Morgan has no noticeable speech or hearing impediments, but she is blind. Her memory, however, is still remarkable.

She sat thru the hour-long ceremony, rarely slouching.

During her welcoming remarks, Staff Nurse Marie Browne, who organised the event, told the gathering it was befitting to show appreciation to people while they are still alive.

“They need to hear from us. They wouldn’t hear us when we show up at the funeral,” Browne said.

Morgan endorsed these comments, saying, “Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!”

And, according to Drucilla Edwards who has volunteered to take care of the celebrated “icon” since 2012, Morgan can walk a few steps, if aided.

Morgan also has no medical condition of note, something that Cordice said might be attributable to Morgan’s love for either dolphin or king fish boiled up with bananas or potatoes, which she prefers to be served piping hot.

Morgan comes from a family of centenarians, according to Cordice, who, says that Morgan’s mother lived to 106 years. Her grandmother is also said to have lived to 100 years.

Morgan and her sons Darryl Deweth left, and Lionel Baptiste. (Photo: Gloridene Hoyte-John.)

Morgan said she would not reach that milestone, but chuckled, “Me ah live all now!” – resulting in peals of laughter from the crowd.

The celebrated “queen” has four children, one of whom pre-deceased her.

The other children, two males and a female, are ages 79 to 84.

Dorothy, the daughter, is overseas and was unable to attend the celebration.

Her sons, Lionel Baptiste and Darryl Deweth, spoke glowingly of their mother and expressed thanks to God for her.

They reminisced about the way they were brought up, being taught the importance of earnest, honest living and being satisfied with whatever they had.

More tributes poured in from villagers and at the end of one of them, the centenarian chimed in singing, solo, the last line of the song, “Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me”. 

At the end of the song, she commented, “Praise the lord.”

Pastor Enos Francis exhorted on the Psalms 34:1-3.

Morgan was presented with gift of flowers, money, a cake, a “certificate of longevity” and a food basket.

The staff of the Sandy Bay Clinic organised the event and decorated the facility in keeping with the celebratory nature of the occasion.  

7 replies on “Sandy Bay’s ‘Queen Elizabeth’ turns 103”

  1. Ricardo Francis says:

    The Garifuna are not the first people in St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

    The Garifunas are a questionable people. This is HOAX.

    I do NOT recognize GARIFUNAS, as a people.

    Keep the politics out of her birthday! Happy Birthday to Elizabeth.

    I shall never waiver and or surrender my believes now and or in the future.

    I am very fearless and courageous.

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making.

    1. Dear MR wanna be prime minister I did not finish school and i am an illiterate Vincy/ American. I would suggest you do your research first before posting your nonsense. And you want to be the PM of SVG? A leader leads. He/She is an intelligent person who knows the history, so let me suggest that you go back and learn history 101.
      You don’t recognize Garifuna as people, then myself being a carib and the grand son of Queen Elizabeth. What are we recognized as?
      Christoper Columbus met the natives of each islands when he arrived and what he did was just to put us on the MAP.

      The history of the Caribbean did not begin in 1492 when Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas. The islands were already inhabited by the Ciboney, Arawak and Carib peoples from mainland America. The Ciboney were a food-gathering and hunting people who may have migrated from Florida in southern North America.

      The indigenous peoples of St Vincent and the Grenadines were the Caribs, whom the region is now named after. They called St Vincent Hairouna, meaning the ‘Land of the Blessed’, which may still today be a fitting description for the wonderful tropical island.

      http://globalsherpa.org/garifunas-garifuna/

  2. We are proud of our grand mother Elizabeth Morgan. A true icon a role model to us her grand children David Deweth Jessica Seebrat & Marcia Deweth, great grand mother of 8 (3 by Marcia Connell ( 4 by Jessica Seebrat) & Barry Jewett. Our since thanks and appreciation to all who made this a joyous occasion from my grand mother. Grandma we all apologize we could not be there but planning to see you soon. Love from your grand kids and great grand kids.

  3. Sherry Morgan says:

    I am from Trinidad and Tobago. My mother in law (deceased) wss named Catherine Francois-Morgan of Sandy Bay. Ms Catherine moved to Trinidad 50+ years ago and married Vincentian Mr Joseph Roberts (deceased). The I am wondering if Ms Elizabeth is a relative of Catherine. Thanks. My email address is [email protected]

  4. Nelcia Robinson says:

    I stand in awe at this miracle of life. My sincere Congratulations to this Elder!

    Greetings to Mr. Ricardo Francis. Can you please contact me at
    [email protected], or send me your email and a phone number.
    I will contact you.

    Nelcia Robinson

  5. Ricardo Francis says:

    Nelcia Robinson,

    Should you have an issue and or issues with my comments, please state them here, on this blog.

    I am legally, constitutionally, politically, morally and ethically, entitled to my views in a free and democratic society, the same way that you are entitled to exercise same.

    I do NOT need your authorization, direction, consent and or instruction to state my views on any and all issues.

    You shall respect and appreciate my views, in the same manner that you expect me to do the same of your views.. You can understand, but you do not have to agree.

    You can also tell Ralph Gonsalves, the PHARAOH LEADER, that he is fighting a losing battle where I am personally concerned.

    I do NOT need a DIPLOMATIC passport from Ralph Gonsalves.

    I do not distort historical facts to satisfy a political agenda, filed with lies and misrepresentation of the facts.

    Chatoyer must be rolling in his grave.

    Again, Happy Birthday to Elizabeth!!!

    I shall never waiver and or surrender my believes now, and or in the future.

    I am very fearless and courageous.

    Ricardo Francis, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in Waiting and in the Making.

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