Esther Louisa Joseph: an extraordinary woman

Esther Louisa Joseph. Photo by 365 Photography

At 99 years she enjoys doing chores such as washing, weeding, cooking and she loves to watch television. When asked to what she attributes her long life she says that she is unable to tell.

“Only Gods knows,” is her response.

Esther Louisa Joseph was born on July 4th 1913 and spent most of her childhood days with her godmother in Newtown but at 20 she settled in Bense, the village of her roots.

Joseph is by no means an ordinary woman. She has outlived six of her 13 children, recalls gathering coconuts on the Hampstead Estate and working side by side with her husband, Sentil Joseph, in the garden.

She tells of walking across the river with a basket full of provision on her head without losing a single dasheen in the process. She remembers carrying a bunch of bananas on her head from the Roseau Market to Newtown.

She boasts of eating some of the best foods including provisions, saltfish (which she said was cheaper yet thicker back then), Cane Juice, Cocoa Tea with milk, cow meat and toloma.

She remembers Bense with only foot paths, no electricity and no pipe borne water. She had no stove in her early years of marriage and child rearing but she still managed with her wood fire and coal pot.

Because of her tenacity Esther Louisa Joseph was honored and received a citation at the Bense Reunion Award Ceremony.

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39 Comments

  1. Abraham Paul
    July 14, 2012

    congratulations mummy i love you so much i think of you all the time. :-P

    • ck nixon
      October 30, 2013

      I am related to this lady she is my grand auntie

  2. winston warrington
    July 14, 2012

    There is a simple humanity in this lady. Unlike other centarians who claim longevity by reason of diet and faith, she answered simply that she did not know; as wisely as the Biblical Esther!

  3. Justice and Truth
    July 13, 2012

    She turned 99? A Happy Birthday to you. May God grant you some more years to come and healthy ones.
    She is indeed fortunate to live to this age. She must have done something good in her life that God blest her with longevity. Continued happy and healthy years to you Mrs. Esther Louisa Joseph. God bless you!

  4. patsy
    July 13, 2012

    hey mama may God continue to bless and keep you as strong as ever blessings and endless love

  5. patsy
    July 13, 2012

    may Jehovah continue to strenghten and keep you endless love and blessings to see you through

  6. Zilpha T.
    July 13, 2012

    Happy,happy belated 99th birthday greetings to “Mamma Tata.” You’ve always been the life of the party! Congratulations, best wishes and total respect.

  7. Di one for Kervin
    July 13, 2012

    Truly blessed and Happy woman, you made me laugh sing and dancer such a pleasure bto meet u and share this moments stay blessed and ur love by many. Happy birthday and many many more to come

  8. iyahna
    July 13, 2012

    congratulations mamo, u are indeed an extraoedinary woman. love you!!!!!

  9. Anonymous
    July 13, 2012

    What a woman! Jovial, lively, still strong! we can’t wait for the 100th birthday!

  10. Howard from Bense
    July 13, 2012

    well done mamo keep the candle burning i was there for it and will be there when u reach the three figures keep the faith love u always your grandson HOWARD.

  11. Original Eagle-Eye
    July 13, 2012

    Happy 99th birthday Madam and long life and health with more years to come. Inspiring

  12. Blessed
    July 13, 2012

    Truely blessed. I hope Skeritt an dem don’t have a rum shop next to her home blasing loud music in her head like they do to many many of our centenarians island wide, and claiming police hands tied by a noise abatement act they don’t want to enforce. Bless her heart.

    • zuma
      July 13, 2012

      you just had to come with your crappy comment typical dominican

    • Justice and Truth
      July 13, 2012

      @ Blessed

      What made this cross your mind? :twisted:

      • Blessed
        July 16, 2012

        Justice…Glad U asked. No politics intended. My aunt died at 97 with a phone in her hand calling the police for maybe the 97th time to persuade them to kindly ask the rumshop owner next door to turn down their excessively loud music.

        She and her care taker talked to pal-rep, Skeritt visited her as a prospective centenarian she mentioned it, she even spoke to a police inspector while the loud music is going on. While they are championing themselves as pro elderly/centenarians the lady was being tortured by her neighbor’s sxcessive loud music speakers.

        Her daughter who is in her late 70s lives there now and the rum shop still torturing them and police are not helping no matter how much she calls for their help. That’s what they’ve done to our lovely Dominica? It stinks of helplesness.
        Thanks for asking.

  13. virgo
    July 13, 2012

    Happy! Birthday, Granny may you live to see many more, GOD Bless you.

  14. glendox
    July 13, 2012

    My Queen! I salute u! May u live to see many more years and may God grant u good health and strength! Love u Mamo!

  15. ALL Glory to God
    July 13, 2012

    God Bless you “Mehzeh Esther”….you are a very good woman!

  16. Anonymous
    July 13, 2012

    When you encounter this lady,she epitomizes what all of us should strive for; positivity, strong faith, a good sense of humor, great health and longevity.Well done Ma Sentil; you make Bense folks extremely proud. We hope you can score that one big run to allow you to raise your bat high in the air!!!

  17. BRAIN DAMAGE
    July 13, 2012

    Ilove the things that you ate.
    Long life to you mam.

    • Justice and Truth
      July 13, 2012

      @ BRAIN DAMAGE

      Healthy and natural food to feed the brain so that it will not be ‘brain damaged.’ :lol:

  18. kim
    July 12, 2012

    Awwww thats sweet. Praise god

  19. anonymous2
    July 12, 2012

    She lived this long based on simplicity and grew up during a time when food adulteration wasn’t common place. She is one honest, hard-working woman.

  20. dennisjoseph
    July 12, 2012

    Some years ago when I worked at DBS radio I introduced a series titled 100 Great Dominicans. The purpose of which was to document a history of Dominica from the mouths of the people who lived through it. When the new management took over after the DLP unseated the UWP in 2000 the program was scrapped after just 40 one hour programs despite the fact that the station received 2 regional awards for that program. It was because of this series and the search for living legends of our history that led Alex Bruno to Ma Pampo. When we have people who live to 100 or close to that we have a live history right there and it is important that their experiences be documented. It was because of the work done on 100 Great Dominicans by the staff of DBS that when Sir Clancy Seignoret passed the station was able to have a comprehensive review of his life from his own voice and those who were close to him at work and at home. I suggest the lives of our centenarians as much as is possible from their own lips be recorded by DBS and Q95 for posterity.

  21. Watching
    July 12, 2012

    The good old days of hard work which did not kill. Today our children if they have to make the beds they lie on.

  22. Looking in
    July 12, 2012

    Good going adopted grandma. One more for the magic figure.
    May God continue to bless you and keep you as strong as always.

  23. real
    July 12, 2012

    We need to cherish the lives of these elderly persons for their contibution to us and the Dominican economy. I don`t know her but i wish her many more years to come.

  24. Winnie
    July 12, 2012

    Look at mother in the back..Mrs 366….lol…

  25. Lady K
    July 12, 2012

    Much blessings to you Miss Esther ….May the good Lord continue to give u the strength to carry on…

  26. Anonymous
    July 12, 2012

    God bless you. We should all learn from your hard work and good eating. Good health to you

  27. dominican/ny
    July 12, 2012

    Mrs. Joseph you look good at 99 may God bless you
    with hundred and more.

  28. Redoka
    July 12, 2012

    Happy 99 to you and still going strong after raising 13 children and working so hard eating good food with no chemicals thats what keeping her so strong God’s blessings to you MAMA

  29. Bouquet
    July 12, 2012

    Belated happy birthday, Ma Joseph. May God bless and protect you. Wish you health and strength, and hope you can double the number. Gross bisse.

    Youths: Show appreciation, love and respect for the elderly.

  30. B-dawg
    July 12, 2012

    Great Ma’am, u look like eighty. Waiting for the 2 zeros. Be blessed by our Father God!

  31. July 12, 2012

    A life lesson to all of us our grand parents thru thick and thin they endured to the very end but the wisdom they teach us today is a pointed lesson to be modest, not quick to anger,do more with less, love the life we live, do not be greedy and envious, show respect to each other and above all have respect for ourselves,eat what we grow and grow what we eat, hard work never kill anybody yet,talk less and listen more,these qualities are sure ways to live a long and enjoyable life. Congratulations to miss Joseph may you live to see many more years of your beautiful life and may God continue to bless and keep you safe. You are my mentor an my inspiration. They do not come like that any more,and that is very sad.

  32. Rosemarie
    July 12, 2012

    Very Good Ma Esther my neighbor. May God continue to bless her abundantly.

  33. truth
    July 12, 2012

    happy 100 in advance

  34. new york
    July 12, 2012

    happy 99 mama god bless u mama love u….

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