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I feel good: Winnie going strong at 105

Winifred Childs celebrated her 105th birthday yesterday — and may be Bermuda's oldest resident.

Ms Childs, known as Winnie, celebrated her century plus five at the Westmeath Residential Home.

She admitted: “I never thought I would see 105, but now that I'm here I think I feel good for my age.”

Ms Childs said her secret to a long life was to stay happy and active.

But she admitted she had been less active in recent times and had no firm plans for the future.

She explained: “Everything I wanted to do, I did.”

Ms Childs said she was one of Bermuda's oldest people as well as Whitney Institute's oldest living former pupil and the oldest living retiree of insurance firm BF&M.

Ms Childs was joined by family, nursing staff and Members of Parliament for cake and drinks before having dinner with nieces and nephews later that night.

Dorothy Fogden, 74, Ms Childs's niece, said Aunt Winnie was a “live wire” who stood out for her active nature and fun-loving spirit.

Ms Fogden added: “She always wanted to do something: go for a walk, pick cherries — you name it, she was into it.”

Ms Fogden and her sister and brother, Elizabeth Moore, 72, and Peter Hubbard, 63, said Ms Childs was like a second mother to them after their biological mother died of cancer in 1970.

She added: “She lost her husband when my siblings and I were young and then she lived down the road, so we used to just keep going by to make sure she was all right.

“She was also there to comfort us because we lost our mother when we were young, so that's where the second-mother bit came in.”

Ms Childs and her husband, Arthur, had one daughter, Patricia.

Mr Hubbard remembered his aunt for her weekend dinners, even though she made him eat green peas — which he still hates.

He said: “When we were kids, we'd be playing cards in the living room and she'd always burn dinner because she was always forgetting about it.”

Ms Childs was born in the summer of 1913, a year before the start of the First World War, to Thomas and Rosina Greenslade, of Devonshire. Her parents had eight other children, all of whom she has outlived.

Ms Fogden said her aunt remained alert and continued to socialise and slept as well as she did before she hit her century.

She added: “For years, if she's still in bed and you say ‘come on, we thought we'd take you out', she'd say ‘I'll be ready in five minutes', then be out of bed, dressed and waiting in the car.”

Ms Fogden said her aunt — despite the age of her nieces and nephew — still saw them as youngsters.

She added: “She keeps calling us ‘the girls', my sister and I.

“I said to her the other day ‘Your girls, Auntie, are now in their mid-seventies and her reply was ‘Well I'm going to be 105'.

“What do you say to that?”

Is Winnie Childs the oldest person in Bermuda? If anyone knows differently, contact The Royal Gazette at news@royalgazette.com

Fine lady: Winifred Childs celebrates her 105th birthday at Westmeath Residential & Nursing Care Home (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published August 11, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated August 11, 2018 at 3:57 am)

I feel good: Winnie going strong at 105

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