|Thursday, November 1, 2012 will begin a weekend to remember in Saint Lucia as the Adelaide’s Homes, the most progressive elderly homes in Saint Lucia, celebrates several milestones. The occasion of the 100th birthday of one of its residents will also be the early celebration of the twenty-eighth anniversary (officially January 2013), and will mark the sod-breaking ceremony of a new expansion.Augustus Justin, founder and Managing Director of first the Adelaide then Frances and now Johnson’s home for the elderly and poor, says the triple celebration will facilitate all those who regularly celebrate with them. Relatives, friends and supporters have been invited to the momentous commemoration, which will culminate on November 4, 2012.
The homes have helped many in financial, spiritual or emotion need over the years and Justin says his rewarded is the regard of persons in his care. One such individual is 99-year-old Martha Adelaide, who he considers his “third mother”, whose birthday will be part of the celebration.
Born November 02, 1912, Martha’s memories are a geographical and periodic history of Saint Lucia, moving from the rural to the urban, from an undeveloped to a modern society. She has seen the country move to statehood and then independence, observing both the coronation and diamond jubilee of Queen Elisabeth II.
From her rural beginnings to the upscale home of the Delieu family in Vigie, Martha’s cooking and housekeeping skills served her well. The Delieu family, whose portraits grace her living space along with depictions of Christ and the saints, took care of her even after she could no longer work. Unmarried and childless, Martha has outlived most of her family but still fondly remembers her sister.
Martha has also donated greatly to charity through the sale of home-made treats such as Rotis, Comfort, Bool, Coconut Balls etc. She would walk every day from Vigie to the city centre to make her sales but never neglected her job.
Despite the Marian Home receiving all her donations, Marta chose the Adelaide’s Home in December 2009 as the best place to live her older years.
Her body still under her control, her mind still sharp, Martha is animated when speaking about her upcoming centenary celebration. Justin has chosen to make her birthday the focal point to launch the expansion and celebration of the homes’ twenty-ninth anniversary.
The expansion of the Johnson’s Home at the Morne, the latest addition to the Adelaide’s family, comes at a cost of approximately EC$2.8 million. Run by a board headed by George Theophilus and former high court judge Suzy d’Auvergne, the Johnson’s Home exemplifies Mr. Justin’s vision of a facility that is not profit-driven or subject to the whims of an individual but open to all those in need and maintaining the reputation for an exceptionally high quality of life for the elderly.
This major extension of the Johnson’s Home will be done in partnership with supporters of the Adelaide’s Homes. The project will include an additional chapel, twenty-three more bedrooms, toilets, supplementary living rooms, a meeting room, parking facilities, the installation of more ramps and additional staff.
Justin says of the $2.8 million expansion, “It frightens even me” but he is determined to make this gift to Saint Lucia. “We have to be cognizant of the fact that our children may not be there for us during our twilight years. I have dedicated the remaining years of my life to ensuring that the quality of life offered to the elderly residents at the Adelaide Homes is not compromised.” The major work is scheduled to begin in January 2013 and be completed by the 30th anniversary in 2015.
The weekend will begin with a holy mass on Thursday November 1 from 5p.m. This will be followed by a boat ride on Saturday November 3 and end with another event on Sunday November 4. The weekend will not be focussed solely on fundraising but will cater to giving residents, families, friends and supporters from here and overseas a chance to mingle and have some fun.
Ade 8 – Augustus Justin examines plans for an extension on the Johnson’s Home
Ade 1 – Martha Adelaide is still alert at age 99
Ade 7 – Photos of her former employers the Delieu’s are among the many adorning Ms. Adelaide’s room at the Adelaide’s Home