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Freddy still batting strong at 101

Freddy still batting strong at 101

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Everybody wants to know the secret to a long, healthy life, but on meeting the loving family of 101-year-old Freddy Beache, it was immediately obvious why he is one of the very few centenarians in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Speaking with Searchlight, daughter Evette Beache-John, daughter Verna Beache-Shallow, son Edward Beache and niece Dilly Beache-Bissessar, who flew all the way from Trinidad, described their father and uncle respectively as loving, hardworking, a firm disciplinarian, a jolly man and a perfect role model.{{more}}

Edward said his father, who always took them to church and sat on the bench he built in the same Anglican church, always showed his family how to love God.

Edward said that today with his own children he is able to pass this love for God on to them and described it as the best gift a parent can give.

But while these family members were describing what they cherish most about Freddy, tears of joy came to his eyes.

Although the centenarian knows that he is loved, just to hear his family say it to him made the strong senior citizen break. He admitted that he misses his wife who died eight years ago but said that it was as if she always knew that she would be the first one to go.

Speaking with the Searchlight Newspaper, Freddy said that he has no regrets in life and believes that a “good mind” and an active life is what is keeping him alive today.

Always one to be seen growing crops like okra in his backyard garden, Freddy believes in “doing good always” as he was taught by his parents, whom he said were always helping others.

Freddy seemed to have enjoyed life to the fullest; travelling to other islands like Santa Domingo and Puerto Rico on the sugar boat was one of his hobbies.

Like a history teacher, he recounted the care he had to take while traveling around the time he described as the “Hitler War Days” when vessels bringing in dry goods to the country were constantly bombed by German submarines. He explained that the war (World War II) brought on a scarcity of edible commodities such as rice and flour.

With an excellent memory, the senior citizen recalled how this didn’t stop him from eating a nutritious diet of ground provisions with lots of bush tea.

Proving just how alert he is, Freddy was able to declare that the claim by Soca artistes, Roses Crew, about the healing properties of various bushes in the country was indeed true. He remembers that he also ate a lot of river eddoes and callaloo while growing up at Long Wall, Frenches, and later Greggs.

With a long, healthy life it seems that Freddy has reaped what he sowed.

Freddy admitted that while he enjoyed his many travels overseas, his concern was always for his mother and when she came to her final stages in life, he came back to St. Vincent, just so that he could take care of her.

Now surrounded by family members providing unconditional love and care, it seems that the 101-year-old Freddy is nowhere near his final stages.

In fact Freddy boasted that he has five more years to go and from the looks of his steady, strong hands when he drinks his stout, and his superb memory, it seems that this centenarian knows what he is saying.