REMARKS BY ACTING PREMIER DR. THE HONOURABLE KEDRICK D. PICKERING
CENTENARIAN – HENRIETTA HODGE SMITH
25TH, OCTOBER 2016
I am honoured to be among family and friends this morning as we celebrate the golden milestone of our newest centenarian, Mrs. Henrietta Smith.
I am sure that many of you were eagerly waiting for this day to arrive.
And, I am quite sure that we are here today motivated and are now thinking how we ourselves can reach this grand age of 100 years old. I can tell you, from meeting other centenarians; it is not an easy sail, especially in a time when so many things attract the eyes.
But be encouraged!
In reading Ms. Henny’s biography: three things became quite clear about getting there:
One, we cannot walk the road without God guiding us.
Two: we must be disciplined in our faith, disciplined in how we live, and disciplined in how we eat. I know Ms. Henny like her fish, sweet potato, and plantain. It just reminds me of life yesteryear.
And three, family is important. Her union with Mr. Donald Smith produced 15 children, and this in itself is a wonderful milestone. Even though four of them are no longer with us, the kindred spirit of family is dwelling among us today.
You see, these three tenets of life: God, discipline and family have long been at the core of the Virgin Islander. These are the tenets that kept us close-knit. And, you have mastered this art.
We have always been a people who lived by faith and not sight, and this is Ms. Henny’s belief—that faith in God sustains you.
We were always a people who knew what it took to make ends meet to survive. And, that is why Ms. Henny reached out and took care of those who were not even her own and I commend you for this herculean and shepherd task which has helped others find the security they needed to survive.
And, you did all these things collectively, working with your family.
Ms. Henny, no doubt, you would have seen this Territory develop in phases, and in so many ways:
From lanterns to light switches, typewriter to computer, black and white turn knob televisions to High Definition Flat Screen TVs, to name a few. And, I will add that you have seen fashion come and go and come again.
You would have even seen roads widened, homes becoming larger, docks being developed, and our people taking on educational opportunities and returning home to give back.
More importantly, you would have seen this Territory transformed in myriad ways for the benefit of all.
As they would jokingly say, you were here since rock of ages was a pebble, and I congratulate you Ms. Henny on this magnificent and tremendous milestone of making 100 years old — this sounds really grand — 100!
Can you imagine? 100 years old! Let’s give her a resounding round of applause and cheers. This is really good!
The Good book says in Psalm 68:19: Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits.
Ms. Henny, this is you and you are indeed a blessing to this Territory and we celebrate life with you and look forward to your many more years here with us.
On behalf of Honourable Premier Smith who wanted to be here, but is on duty travel, on behalf of the people of this Great Little Nation and on behalf of my family and I — we wish you continued good health, and fruitful days ahead.
Ms. Henny, we appreciate your life and we ask that God continue to strengthen your wings of faith as you continue on as a golden citizen of this beloved Territory you have helped to build.
God bless you.