“I JUST want a spoonful of rum, and I gon be alright,” chuckled Rhoda Jean Bourne Warren, who celebrated her 100th birthday on April 22, 2021, in the presence of her great-nieces and nephews, who ensured that her day was memorable.
Despite this significant milestone, the centenarian told well-wishers that she was 90-years-old out of fear that death would stalk her if her true age was revealed.
“Aunty Rhoda”, as she is popularly called, was born at Number Nine Village, West Coast Berbice. She was brought to East Berbice by her brother-in-law, Noel Liddell, a bicycle mechanic, who, at that time was pursuing a relationship with her older sister, Florence.
Initially, they lived at Lightown Village, East Bank Berbice, before moving to Lot 48 Stanleytown, and later Lot 45 Stanleytown, one of the many cross streets in the New Amsterdam township. She currently resides there with an adopted daughter, Janela and her children.
She has a biological daughter, Maureen, who lives overseas with her family.
Even though she is advanced in age, the slim-built centenarian has a knack for taste. She would so advise her companions whenever the meals are lacking an essential ingredient.
For her birth anniversary, she requested black cake, mauby, chowmein and macaroni and cheese. The items were prepared by her great-niece, Claudette Liddell-Allen. As soon as the cake and the mauby were brought, she requested a taste, and with closed eyes she savored the goodies. It pleased her palate. She smiled, while nodding her head. The black cake and mauby lacked nothing. “It good. It taste so good,” she muttered under her breath.
Though experiencing memory lapses during the interview with this publication, she was able to recount that as a young woman, she sold cassava pone and other baked goods at Providence Market, East Bank Berbice, and later worked as a hairstylist at Mavis New Year’s Beauty Parlor.
Her recollection of the earlier part of her life was vague. She recalled that she had 10 siblings and that her family raised cows and sold milk, while her father operated a boat along the Berbice River.
All in all, ‘Aunty Rhoda’ is grateful for life. She is thankful that God has given her so many years, and yes, she can live for 100 more.