Though her memory is failing her now, Linden’s oldest resident Agatha Campbell, affectionately called ‘Mama Gathie’ by residents in the community, continues to have a bubbly personality even at 105 years old.
The Guyana Times newspaper recently sat down with the charismatic Campbell at her Christiansburg, Wismar home and she appeared to be in good spirits, though she seemed appalled that she has lived to see that age. Born in the year 1911, the centenarian who celebrated her 105th birthday on September 19, exclaimed, “I feel good! I feeling happy. God is love”, before belching out a hearty laugh, when asked how it feels to be 105. A celebration was held at her home on September 21 to commemorate her birth anniversary. The event was graced by the presence of Social Protection Minister Volda Lawrence, in addition to numerous family and friends as well as members of the St Aidan’s Anglican Church which she attends.
“The birthday was excellent. We had a nice prayer and a few things; spent a nice afternoon,” her son Lincoln was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
According to Lincoln, who resides in the same house, Campbell presently has no major health problems and her sight is excellent.
“Nothing serious, nothing like high blood pressure or diabetes,” he noted.
She has however, more significantly, refrained from one of her favourite pastimes – caring for her flower garden. Even after she turned 100, spending time in her then vibrant garden was one of her top priorities. It seems as though the lack of her presence has been felt, as most of the budding plants which were present in Campbell’s garden a few years ago have now disappeared. These days, ‘Mama Gathie’ – who moved to Linden from Dalgin, along the Demerara River many years ago – spends most of her time indoors, or looking out while sitting on the verandah. Her son related that she now only remembers the names of close relatives and can be a little mischievous at times.
“She would call and say she want something and when you go, she ain’t want it,” he said humorously. While ‘Mama Gathie’ does not remember much these days, she is surrounded by family, neighbours and friends whose love seems to keep her going.
(Utamu Bell, Guyan Times)