Rhode Island officials pay tribute to state’s oldest residents

The 37th Annual Governor’s Centenarians Brunch on Wednesday, May 21, at The Bridge at Cherry Hill in Johnston. At the age of 110, Louise Silva of Cranston was the oldest attendee. Silva will turn 111 on June 7. The oldest man at the event held in conjunction with Older Americans Month was Joseph Celona, 106, of North Providence.

WJAR-TV10 newscaster Mario Hilario served as the master of ceremonies. Catherine Taylor, director of the state Division of Elderly Affairs, and Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee addressed the crowd, and Frank Castle led a rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” while playing the accordion. The honorees received citations presented by Taylor and Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena.

Edna Strong

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Edna Strong, 104, of Cranston, receives some loving from her son, Howard, 77, and his girlfriend, Gloria Bryda, 67. Edna was one of the many Rhode Island residents honored during the 37th Annual Governor’s Centenarians Brunch at The Bridge at Cherry Hill in Johnston on Wednesday, May 21. The brunch was held as part of the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs’ observance of Older Americans Month.