Ms. Zena Maude Doobay celebrates her 101st birthday today


Ms. Doobay’s life is chronicled below by one of her grandchildren.


My loving, caring and Compassionate grandmother, born Zena Maude Doobay on 13th May 1920 at #68 Corriverton, Berbice, Guyana was the 2nd of 21 children by her father. Her mom whose parents went to Guyana on the Indentured Slave ship from India unfortunately died in childs birth after giving birth to 10 of the 21 children. Zena is the only survivor of that set.


She grew up with her grandmother who with the support of her father sent her to school. Granny got married to Nathaniel Small the day after school closed, the year before she wrote her school leaving exams. She bore 3 children. A boy, her first who unfortunately passed while still a baby. My uncle Lennox Small followed then a few years later my mom Cloyette Small.


Granny’s maternal grandmother Rebecca La Rose taught her embroidery -making decorative pillow cases, knitting chair backs, dollies for center tables, making scrap mats and patch work sheets for any size of bed. She in turn taught this at a Primary School. Her second and third jobs were renting bicycles and being a dedicated wife to her husband who passed away at an early age. She supported her family by selling ice pop (sucka bubby) and finger foods. She also did farming, planting peppers and vegetables. She loved to make local wine and fruits for cake from gooseberries and five finger(star fruit). These were In demand at Christmas.


She loves to sing. Her favourite song is Onward Christian Soldiers. She also loves to listen to Jim Reeves. One would think she is trying to out sing him especially when she hears ….I’ll fly away. She is still a member of the Presbyterian Church in Guyana even though she resides in Antigua after traveling to Barbados and USA.


Before she Became wheel chair bound she visited the SJPC church a few times. Family feud is one of her favorite TV shows. She also enjoys watching Judge Judy. Presently she spends her day doing Word Search finishing one book in just about a week. It must be in course print. She doesn’t wear a spectacles.


Even though slow to recall, does recall events and relates it to those who lend an ear. She still assist in peeling onions, garlic and preparing the seasoning for cooking. Her favourite dish is Same(string beans) and shrimp. Loves fish.


She has four grandchildren- Candace, Lonsdale, Shariot and Anthony, twelve great grands- including Latanya and others and one great great grand.

She presently resides with her eldest granddaughter Candace Woodruff of Baxter Street Antigua.


Asked what advice she’d like to pass on to the younger generation, as to how they could live to a ripe old age as she did, she stated that they should maintain a healthy relationship with God as without His guiding hand, she would not have been able to achieve such a milestone. She also added a relationship with your fellow men is important.


We thank God for sparing her life to this age so we could benefit from the examples from her blessed life.

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  1. looking LOVELY, CLASSY, BEAUTIFUL, ELEGANT, JOYFUL, PEACEFUL and THANKFUL. Happy birthday to you young lady!!!

  2. Congratulations Ms Zena Maude Doobay on your 101 years!

    The centenarian-members of Living Legends from life’s experiences in historical context, say to us, especially the youths, simply:
    Develop a Culture of Health. EXERCISE MORE and EAT BETTER so that we can all TAKE CONTROL OF OUR HEALTH and be better together.
    Plant, Eat, and Trade (PET action) fresh Fruits and Vegetables.
    Grow Herbs in the garden and use them.
    “Health is Wealth. Wealth is not Health.”


  3. Very very nice the way you reflected on your grandmother’s live; even starting from high school. These young persons today don’t even know their grandparents middle name much less to be able chronicle their lives the way you did. It’s a beautiful piece. Keep talking to your grandma while she have the little remaining memory. You will learn some more stuff that will uplift you ever further.

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