Still going: Winnie celebrates 107th birthday
A woman has celebrated her 107th birthday and been awarded the unofficial title of the oldest person in Bermuda.
Winnifred Childs, known as Winnie, was treated to an outdoor party by family and staff at Westmeath Residential and Nursing Home on Monday.
Peter Hebberd, her 65-year-old nephew, said: “Westmeath is still in an earlier stage of lockdown than the general community so we could only have a small party. But Westmeath did a very nice job — we had a cake and decorations.
“My sister brought some champagne so Aunt Winnie had some champagne.”
“She had flowers from her goddaughter and then a bunch of flowers arrived from the Premier.”
He added: “We said ‘we think she’s Bermuda’s oldest person’ and nobody ever came back to say anything different, so we’re assuming that she is.”
Mr Hebberd, from Pembroke, said that only Ms Childs’s closest family were allowed to attend because of strict safety regulations to protect Westmeath residents from the coronavirus.
He added that they were required to wear masks and celebrate outside.
But Mr Hebberd said that Westmeath did “everything they could” to give Ms Childs a celebration, despite the restrictions.
He added the home had extended their two-visitor maximum to five visitors and allowed the family to stay for an hour and a half instead of 30 minutes.
He said: “It’s always quite an amazing thing when somebody reaches 107.”
Mr Hebberd added: “Westmeath did everything they possibly could while at the same time saying safe.
“They were very kind, but we all stayed our distance and had our masks on.”
Mr Hebberd said that Ms Childs managed to stay safe and protected over the pandemic.
He explained that she was given an iPad to allow Mr Hebberd and the rest of the family to call her because they were not allowed to visit.
Mr Hebberd said: “Frankly, for 106, as she was then, she wrapped her head around the technology in no time flat.
“We did it once or twice and then she would go out to the desk and say ‘I want to talk to my family’.”
Mr Hebberd added that, despite her age, “Aunt Winnie” was still sharp and playful. He explained: “She still says what’s on her mind, that’s for sure. I think the word we use quite often is ‘saucy’ — that’s stayed consistent her entire life.”
A spokeswoman for Westmeath said she had tried to confirm that Ms Childs was Bermuda’s oldest person, but had been told the information was confidential.
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