Born just after the first x-ray machine had been unveiled, Eugenie Blanchard was born in the Merlette neighbourhood in St. Barthelemy. Eugenie worked very hard from a young age, tending to the garden and taking care of the family’s animals. Introduced to her church by her Father, Blanchard eventually left home and settled in Curacao. She took the veil aged 24 and became known as Sister Cyria Costa.
Sister Cyria Costa passed most of her religious vocation in Curacao. Sister Costa had a very loving and caring personality. She soon acquired the nickname ‘Douchy’, which is the Dutch creole word for sweets. Many say that this was due to her sweet nature. However, another possible reason for her nickname was that she was known to offer children sweets whilst shouting ‘douchy, douchy!’ This was her way of trying to entice children to attend Bible readings.
In 1953 Eugenie Blanchard retired and returned to St. Barthelemy, where she lived with one of her sisters. Blanchard spent the rest of her life in her home country and indeed she led a very long and fruitful life. Outliving all of her 13 siblings, Blanchard was the oldest person alive at the time of her death, aged 114 years and 261 days. Although there is not much information available about the life of Eugenie, what we can gather is that she was a very sweet natured woman who dedicated her life to her religion. Eugenie Blanchard, we thank you for your dedication to spreading God’s word and for the love and compassion you showed to all who had the pleasure of knowing you. Eugenie Blanchard, Sister Costa, Douchy, Caribbean1st absolutely salutes you.