March 20, 2010

JAMAICA: Vaz Prep gets centenarian rolling

. ROLLINGTON TOWN, KINGSTON, Jamaica / The Jamaica Gleaner / News / March 20, 2010 Wheelchair brings joy to elderly woman LIFE HAS taken a wonderful turn for Bernetta Edwards, a 102-year-old resident of Rollington Town in Kingston. The centenarian, with an infectious smile, is expressing gratitude to Vaz Preparatory School for providing a wheelchair to help her move around. Grade-four boys at Vaz Prep School look on admiringly at 102-year-old Bernetta Edwards, after the School donated a wheelchair to her during their devotion on Thursday morning. Photo by Ian Allen/Photographer Accepting the gift at the school on Thursday morning, Edwards said the wheelchair would make life a little easier for her. "I have to say that I feel good," Edwards told The Gleaner. Hundreds of students who assembled for devotion at the school were elated to meet the centenarian, who received the wheelchair from principal of the school, Karlene Bisnot. The senior citizen, who has been living in the community for more than 60 years, made her living in earlier years as a practical nurse, dressmaker and hairdresser. Bisnot said the institution was involved in various outreach activities in Rollington Town. "Vaz has been in the Rollington Town community for nearly 60 years and it always sought to give back to the community," she said. According to Bisnott, the school also organised health fairs for the elderly and provides lunch for the less fortunate who were shut in. Even as the school tries to grapple with the current economic challenges, the principal said Vaz encouraged its students to support the dispossessed in society. "As a school, the children give regularly. We give to charity on a regular basis and we encourage the children to look out for the less fortunate," she explained. "We are mindful that, even though the times are challenging, others are having it harder than we are and so we try in whatever way we can, in the midst of all of that, to lend a helping hand." [rc] Copyright © 2010 Gleaner Company Ltd.