One of Onesta “Viola” Albertina Devonish’s greatest loves has been attending church.
Not only did Barbados’ latest centenarian attend service every Sunday at the Whitepark Wesleyan Holiness Church, but she also ventured to nearby churches that held services during the week, to satisfy her thirst for God.
Such was the testimony from her granddaughter Yonnette Murray as she spoke lovingly of her Onesta, who celebrated her birthday on Friday with family and friends.
Murray, who was speaking at a celebratory church service in Onesta’s honour at the Whitepark Road church, told of how her grandmother loved to eat, but often showed concern, making sure that all others around her were well fed, even before she herself started to feast.
Murray also spoke of her grandmother’s love for basketball and how she often visited the YMCA to watch games, to the extent that she was even got the Most Ardent Fan Award in the 1980s.
She loved cricket too and often found herself at Kensington Oval, sometimes unknown to her family.
Family member Leslie Murray told how Onesta covered him with prayer from the time he was a child, while Jeffrey Blackman paid respects to her for having been “a chirpy, special old lady” who had played an important part in his life.
The centenarian was also treated to songs from the Sunday School department and a saxophone selection by Dr Joy Pollard, and was presented with a plaque and monetary gift from the church by Reverend Joel Cumberbatch.
“Thank God, thank God, thank God,” Onesta responded when Cumberbatch asked her what had contributed to her longevity.
Onesta, who was born on May, 14, 1910, in Baxter’s St Andrew, has two daughters, five grands and eight great-grands.