Stephenson McLeod celebrated his 103rd birthday on September 30 at his home on Top Hill in Mason Hall, Tobago.
McLeod, one of two centenarians living in the Moriah/Mason Hall community, said the secret to his longevity is praising God daily and making sure the creator always has a presence, in his heart and mind.
Sitting quietly on his bed and smiling, he said: “I cannot give Him enough praise, for His long keeping watching over this entire family of ours.”
McLeod’s memory is not as sharp as it once was and his mobility is reduced. His family is installing wheelchair ramps in the home which will allow him to go outside to get fresh air and sunshine.
His eldest daughter, Sandra Hendrickson, 65, described McLeod as a kind and patient man who was always ready to lend a listening ear to anyone who came to him with problems and needed some comfort and advice.
“My father grew up in Whim and then he moved to Mason Hall in his early days. He has five children but was never married. When we were growing up we spent a lot of time in the garden because he had always loved agriculture. When in the garden he would talk for very long giving us advice and listening to our concerns,” she said.
He used to sit and talk with villagers as Berrie Wilson, Benton Pollard, Shallow Wilson and Matthias who were all younger than him but have all passed on. My father was a tradesman employed with the government before the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) was established. He has always been true to his faith and would always be mindful to always praise God.”
McLeod was presented with gifts from Assemblyman Ian Pollard, the THA representative for the area.
Pollard praised McLeod for reaching the milestone and serving the community, “Mr Mcleod was one of my father’s best friends, I know he is in heaven looking down on him today,” he said.