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.

Mary French

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Mary French, 101, of Greenville is all smiles after receiving a citation from Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs Director Catherine Taylor and Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena during the 37th Annual Governor’s Centenarians Brunch at The Bridge at Cherry Hill in Johnston on Wednesday, May 21. Mary says she still drives, plays bridge and cribbage and lives by herself.