Former principal advises educators to ‘Gih dem the rod’

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Former principal advises educators to ‘Gih dem the rod’

Point Fortin resident, Mrs Iris Sylvester reached the milestone of 102 on October 20, 2023. Originally from Rancho Quemado, the mother of six, grandmother of sixteen and great grandmother of thirty, describes her hometown as an agricultural village, where each family had a garden behind their house. There was also a cocoa estate with a cocoa house which later served as the village school.

After having attended the Guapo Government School, Mrs Sylvester served as a teacher and later became principal of the Salazar Trace Government School. In her spare time, she occupied herself with sewing, embroidery and gardening. At this stage of her life however, she likes to eat, sleep and talk.

Ms Iris, advises parents and teachers to continue to encourage children to demonstrate good behavior. She adds that it may not always be necessary to punish them with ‘licks’, however there are times that it is necessary to ‘gih dem the rod’. She advises the younger generation to love the Lord, work hard, pray, obey their parents, keep the commandments and live in harmony with one another. She attests her long life to having peace and contentment and family unity.

Representatives from The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) visited the home of Mrs Sylvester at a thanksgiving service at her home on Friday October 20th, 2023 and presented her with her Certificate of Honour and Achievement, birthday cake sponsored by the Kiss Baking Company and fruit hamper courtesy of NAMDEVCO.

The Ministry was pleased to honour Mrs. Sylvester under the Ministry’s National Centenarian Programme and encourage persons to register via the Ministry’s website at to complete the online form or print a downloadable form for completion. Completed forms may be dropped off at the nearest Social Welfare Office or emailed to the Division of Ageing at [email protected]. For more information, persons may contact the Division of Ageing at 623 – 2608; Ext 2001 to 2009, or 800-OPIC (6742).