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Dec 13, 2021

Belize’s Oldest Citizen Celebrates 108th Birthday

Leonora Patnett

Leonora Patnett’s residence on Wagner’s Lane was alive with activity today, as friends and family from across Belize City stopped in to wish her a happy birthday.  Patnett is Belize’s oldest resident.  At a hundred and eight years old, she still looks good and is very much independent.  This afternoon, News Five’s Isani Cayetano stopped in to speak with the centenarian.  Here’s his story.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Belize’s oldest citizen celebrates her hundred and eighth birthday today with an outpour of best wishes for a longer life from friends and family.  Leonora Patnett was born on December 12th, 1913, just one year before the start of World War One.  Since then, she has seen the country blossom from its colonial past to the Jewel it is today.  In honor of this milestone achievement, Belize’s most well-known centenarian is being showered with blessings from all over.


Leonora Patnett, Birthday Girl

“I feel good.  Last week I wasn’t good at all, I had pain in my foot, but ih ease up now so I come out cohn sihdown out yah.”


We have shone a bright spotlight on Patnett since she hit a hundred back in 2013.  Not only is she still able to move about her house, at a hundred and eight years old, she still has all her faculties intact.  Her daughter, Rita Sedacey, shares the trick to living such a long and fruitful life.


Rita Sedacey, Daughter

Rita Sedacey

“She has a good appetite, she likes church and I guess she always says that you have to live good with your neighbors and be good and that is a part of, according to her, that’s a part of her living longer.”


Over the years, Patnett has seen generations of her family grow to become parents, extending the family tree to great, great grandchildren.


Isani Cayetano

“You’ve seen your kids grow up to become adults, right.  You’ve also seen your grandkids.  How far down the family tree are we now, great grand or just grand?”


Leonora Patnett

“Great great.”


Isani Cayetano: Talk to us about that feeling though, I mean, you’ve been around for several generations to see all of these people grow up under you and they’re carrying on your family tradition and your family name.


Leonora Patnett

“All I wahn tell yoh bout dehn, dehn done married and have children too and da me mind them ‘til dehn grow to become man and have children.”


Area Representative Tracy Panton, whose constituency Patnett has lived all her life, knew the elderly woman before entering into politics.


Tracy Panton

Tracy Panton, Area Representative, Albert

“I know Ms. Leonora and I know the family long before I got into politics, so you know, I grew up in this area and her son-in-law Jerry Lee had Jerry Lee’s Record Store and so I’ve known the family for a very long time.  Ms. Leonora has always been very active and at a point she use to attend all our events that we had in the constituency.  Mother’s Day especially, she enjoyed coming to those functions and we visit with Ms. Leonora every year, to celebrate with her and to remind her that we love her, to learn from her wisdom.  You know, when I ask her, how do you get to live so long?  What should I do?  And she says, remember to pray.  So I know that God is very important to her and she understands very well that she is blessed with long life because of her relationship with her God.  So it’s always a pleasure to stop by to visit.”


According to Patnett, longevity for her means remaining indoors, especially since she is no longer able to exercise and take care of the children.


Leonora Patnett

“We noh go out, you know, we only, we stay home and then I does workout and then I mind dehn children.”


Isani Cayetano reporting 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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