Our parish extends heartiest congratulations and celebrates the auspicious occasion of the 100th birthday of Leona ‘Bunty’ Roberts, a parishioner of many years at St Anthony’s/Nativity parish, on Wednesday, March 23.
‘Bunty’, as she explained to me, was a special name given to her by her mother at birth. She was born in Woodbrook, and she and her sister Yvonne (now deceased) were greatly influenced by their father, who was in the army and fought in World War I. He used to walk with them at 5 a.m. every morning around the Savannah, then exercise before going to school. Discipline was his watchword! Their father also played the piano, and they enjoyed many evenings at home singing and dancing.
Bunty was married in 1945 and became a mother to two children – Stephen and Deidre. Though her husband is now deceased, Bunty continues to enjoy the company of a fast-growing family of five grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Much of Bunty’s time and energy was given in service to God and His people. She grew in faith under the tutelage of Babsie Bleasdell and was active in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal from its early years. In those days, she told me, she spent much time at Mt St Benedict on retreats led by Fr Bernard Vlaar OSB.
Bunty spent many years in our parish working alongside Agnes Charles, leader of the St Anthony’s prayer group, then she moved across to the Nativity Church and worked with Elizabeth Harroo, leader of the Crystal Stream prayer group. At present, Bunty still makes herself available for anyone who requires counselling or prayer.
Bunty was recently bestowed with a Papal Award from Pope Francis requested by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. It reads: “In appreciation for your faithful stewardship in building particular faith communities of CCR Trinidad & Tobago and in the Church.”
When asked: “What advice would you give to our parents today?” Her answer was: “I would tell them to stay close to their children and get to know their children’s friends.”
And what advice would she give to the young people today? “Get to know God in a personal way and pray, pray, pray!”
Words of wisdom from our dear centenarian Leona ‘Bunty’ Roberts. May our heavenly Father continue to bless her with unfailing faith and a joyful spirit as she is now at the magnificent age of 100 years. —Janice Lucy Hepburn, parishioner