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Stephanie Delysia-Orr feeds her father Peter Delysia a piece of birthday cake, as he celebrates his 100th birthday at his home in Point Fortin yesterday. Also in the photo are, from left, Benjamin Delysia, Boswell Delysia, Jennifer Charles, Emanuel Charles and Joanne Bowen-Delysia.

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Peter Delysia may be 100 years old but his advanced age doesn’t stop him from going down on his knees every day and thanking God for his life.

Delysia, of New Village, Point Fortin, is one of three centenarians who worship at the St Mark’s Anglican Church in Techier Village. In an exclusive interview with Guardian Media, he said the secret to a long life is his devotion to God.

“It is God who has me alive. The Lord keeps me alive,” Delysia said smiling.

He explained that he came to Trinidad from St Vincent 70 years ago, leaving behind his family. Back then things were tough in St Vincent and Delysia said he got a job spraying mosquitoes for Shell. He later fell in love with Patricia, a migrant from Grenada, whom he married and they had five children.

“I met her in Point Fortin. She was staying with her aunt and I saw her and decided to marry her,” he recalled.

Delysia said he returned to St Vincent many times. He said St Vincent is special to him but is nothing like Trinidad .

“But I also like it here. Point Fortin is a nice place,” he said.

Not one to be stressed, Delysia offered no advice to youths.

“I don’t know what advice to give. There is plenty of crime today,” he said.

Now a widower, Delysia said he hoped to live for a few more years.

His eldest daughter Jennifer Charles, 63, attributed his long life to his diet and his devotion.

“He goes down on his knees every day and prays. Our young ones do lie down on the bed and say prayers. When you go down on your knees the Lord will make you live long,” Charles said.

She said her father loved dasheen, cassava, salt fish and smoke herring.

“He doesn’t like chicken or soup, broth or rice. He likes to choose. When he gets up, we give him his tablets, he eats his breakfast and he will lie down. He eats cake and ice-cream. He loves that,” she added.

She explained that one of the things she admired about her father is his calm demeanour.

“My father doesn’t talk a lot. He doesn’t fuss for anything. He just there, waiting for the time,” she said.

Delysia suffers from diabetes and hypertension as well as a prostate condition.

“His heart is very good and even at his advanced age, he can still read,” Charles said.

She said Delysia had ten children, five in St Vincent and five in Trinidad.

“He has 16 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren. Four of his five children in St Vincent have pre-deceased him. He kept in touch with all his children and his five children in Trinidad are all alive,” she said.

Parish priest of the St Mark’s Anglican Church at Techier Village Rev Harold Dickerson, who visited Delysia for his birthday, said he was the third centenarian in the parish this year.

“It’s an honour for us that three people are celebrating 100 years this year. I feel energised and ready to go to celebrate them,” he said.

Dickerson said many people had lost their lives because of COVID-19 and it was a blessing to see Delysia live so long.