Centenarian Leonora Webster gets a kiss from her adopted daughter Maureen Mortley during Webster’s birthday celebration at her Freeport home, yesterday.

Social Development and Family Services Minister Donna Cox is urging nationals to take care of their health so they can live longer and have productive lives, like Leonora Webster.

Cox was at the time speaking to the media on Thursday when she paid a visit to centenarian Leonora Webster at her Freeport home.

Webster celebrated her 100 birthday on September 10 and held celebrations on September 16.

Webster, who has been blind since she was 84 years old has one son Earl Bernard, 79, and an adopted daughter Maureen Mortley, 64. She moved from Port-of-Spain to Central and lives at Mortley’s house at Maingot Trace.

Webster said the secret to her longevity is doing things in moderation and prayer.

“I was not a dancer and I went to a party now and then. After work I would take a rest, when I eat, I eat in moderation. You don’t overdo anything. I always say I live a full life, fullness is a little bit of everything, the good, the bad, the sad, the glad, the joy, the sorrow but God was always with me.”

Webster described herself as a God-fearing woman who grew up following the example of praying daily that was set by her mother. “As you grow older you get to understand God better, understand His ways and what He wants you to do.”

Webster’s memories go way back into the 20th century, as she witnessed many historical events.

She recalled the jailing of trade unionist Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler and the shooting of Charlie King. Webster said when Trinidad and Tobago gained independence she was in Venezuela where she and other nationals celebrated.

Her adopted daughter heaped praised on Webster and said she instilled deep religious values in her and had been an excellent parent.

Minister Cox also sang the centenarian’s praises and said she was an example of what younger citizens should aspire to be.

“This is what we want to see, persons living longer, having healthy lifestyles, eating right and having programmes for them so they will be stress-free.”

Cox said people who live to be 100 usually have a healthy diet that contains complex carbohydrates and are free from fast, oily foods. She said those wanting to live a longer life should exercise and pray more to relieve stress.