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Leonora Patnett Celebrates her 108th Birthday

And while there have been five hundred and eighty-six fatalities attributed to the coronavirus, there’s one very special golden citizen, who has not only dodged COVID-19, but has experienced and survived much more. Leonora Patnett is still going strong at one hundred and eight years. Love News visited Leonora Patnett during her birthday celebration this morning, which featured an important guest. Dale McDougall reports.

Dale McDougall: A proverb says that the harvest of old age is the recollection and abundance of blessings previously secured. And on Monday December 13 Belize City resident Leonore Patnett is marking 108 years of those blessings. On this special occasion both Prime Minister John Briceno and Mayor Bernard Wagner visited the matriarch at her home on Wagner’s Lane, a place where she weathered the devastating Hurricane Hattie of 1961. She told us herself what has kept her going for more than a centur

Leonora Patnett, 108-years-old: “A good life. You don’t go about, you don’t drink, and you don’t smoke and by that you keep a good health.”

Dale McDougall: Longevity, movement, presence of mind, hope and cheerfulness are the many things we cling on to and can only imagine for ourselves in old age. For Prime Minister Briceno the visit was a thrilling experience.

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “It’s certainly a blessing that she could live to see a hundred and eight years on this earth and one with a presence of mind that she can still talk. She spoke to me  in Spanish also because she said she’s originally from San Ignacio and she said this same very house she passed Hurricane Hattie so that could tell you about the history that she knows and I joked with her I said I like to boast that my grandfather lived to a hundred and two years but look at her a hundred and eight years and can still carry a conversation and she still sits and has a lot of energy. I think it’s a blessing and also a testament to the family.”

Dale McDougal:  Indeed Patnett the aunt of the Legendary Wilfred Peters has a loving family of children and grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and is beloved by those in her neighborhood. Mayor Bernard Wagner told us why this visit for him was one of the most important he has made in his life.

Bernard Wagner, Mayor of Belize City: “Not many people live to see a hundred and eight years and regrettably my mother died at the age of seventy six and my mom’s name is Ms.Leonore Patnett as well so you could see how I feel. I’m very attached to this family here and so we felt compelled as a city to recognize her birthday and do something for her.”

Dale McDougall: It is an extra special day for an ordinary lady who was alive during some of the most important times in 20th Century Belize. To punctuate the day she had this piece of advice for everyone. 

Leonora Patnett, 108-years-old: “Love your neighbor, pray that God helps everyone. Don’t quarrel with anybody, that’s my advice.”

Dale McDougall: That life is one many of us can hope to emulate and experience.