Wonder women: Six local ladies celebrate three-digit birthdays at nursing home’s bash

Wonder women: Six local ladies celebrate three-digit birthdays at nursing home’s bash
NYC Health and Hospitals / McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

They’re six-hundred years young!

Staff at an East Flatbush nursing home toasted a half-dozen female residents for reaching triple digits at a March 28 bash celebrating the oldsters and the culmination of Women’s History Month.

“Since we have so many centenarians, and many of them are women, we figured this would be a great way to honor them,” said Angela Cooper, a spokeswoman for the city-run McKinney long-term care facility. “We wanted to celebrate our unsung heroes.”

The women — 100 year-olds Rebecca Gilmore, Carolyn Burton, and Caroline Binns; 101 year-old Margaret Alcindor; 103 year-old Enid Peterkin; and Lucille Watson, who will turn 100 on April 22 — all received well-wishes for their milestone birthdays at the event.

And all but Alcindor — who missed the party because she wasn’t feeling well — dressed in resplendent purple and gold for the occasion, according to Cooper, who said the festivities touched the ladies of the hour.

“They felt so happy to know we were honoring them, and they all looked regal,” she said. “It’s what they deserved.”

Commemorating the elders while they’re still alive is important because many other Women’s History Month tributes recognize deceased legendary ladies, not those who still walk among us, Cooper said.

“Most of the time we honor people who are no longer living, but I personally feel that every woman has contributed to society,” she said.

Organizers bestowed certificates of excellence upon the honorees, noting particular achievements of each woman.

Binns, for instance, has 40 great-grandchildren, while Peterkin still actively sings in a local choir, Burton worked dozens of jobs in her career, Watson traveled during her youth, and Gilmore is a surviving twin, according to Cooper, who said all of the centenarians deserve applause for simply persevering through so many different eras.

“They might not be lawyers or doctors, but some of them have children who have done something in our community and that’s worth celebrating,” the spokeswoman said. “In 1918, women didn’t have many rights, but these women have contributed in ways we don’t know — and they have lived to tell us about it.”

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimo[email protected]local.com.