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Dec 30, 2014

A Century of Wisdom…

Mary Tate

As the clock ticks away to welcome 2015, we caught up with a charming centenarian. Mary Tate has lived a century and will turn one hundred and one in February. But far from being weak and feeble, we found her to be energetic and full of life. Her experiences are many and varied; she was born at a time of war, she lived the period of colonialism, and has experiences about life in Honduras. Her secret to longevity is family support. Duane Moody found her at the Sister Cecilia Home.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Meet centenarian Mary Tate. The elderly woman, although restricted to a wheelchair, is full of life and energy and has been living quite comfortably at the Sister Cecilia’s Home for the Elderly. Tate was born on February fourth, 1914 and has a wealth of knowledge and experience on the history of Belize.


Mary Tate, Centenarian

“I born 1914, the fourth of February, pan wah Friday in a war; 1914 when the war start.”


Duane Moody

“Tell me about your experience growing up in Belize.”


Mary Tate

“I grow here, I schooled here. I pass outta school two times right yah. After school shet, my sister mi deh dah Guatemala and she say she mi di come fi me. But ih neva come to Guatemala, ih came dah Honduras.”


According to Tate, she then moved to Honduras when her older sister took her to live in that country. There, she had the opportunity to visit several well known areas.


Mary Tate

“I know Honduras… I does like fight dah dance and all. As they knock yo, dehn lock yo up, but I got a bad tempter. I deh dah Taylor, dah Corte, I deh dah San Pedro, I deh dah Tegucigalpa with my sister. Mi sister say that as ih left school dah Belize yah and I pass two times and ih say I wah come fi yo. Dah my sister ker mi cross. Dah she ker mi dah Honduras and make I know Honduras and jail and all because if I do anything, bam right dah jail I go.”


Malva Bood Allen

According to Supervisor at the Home, Malva Bood Allen, Mary is one of the forty-one residents to whom the Home provides care and shelter. She is special to the organization as she moves on to becoming a hundred and one in just over a month.


Malva Bood Allen, Supervisor, Sister Cecilia’s Home

“We have in-house forty-one residents—we have twenty males and twenty-one females—and we provide a home away from home for them as much as we can. Miss Mary Tate is the last of our centenarians; the other one she passed away like a month ago. But Miss Mary Tate, she is still here with us and she is special to us; she is a special lady. She has been with us for like two and a half years.”


But what is the secret to living a long life? Mary says it is having family support.


Duane Moody

“What you woulda say to the other people dehn weh deh yah about how fi be strong and live…”


Mary Tate

“Oooh….family. Family…Tate, Bowen, Humes, Usher family. I have wa cousin dah states weh name Gladys Humes.”


Duane Moody

“So dah you family make yo strong?”


Mary Tate



Happy birthday in advance to Mary Tate. Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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