Jean Lowrie Chin Monday, May 23, 2016
In the quiet district of Duanvale, Trelawny, is a lady whose life has crossed three centuries.
She was six months in the making at the turn of the 20th century and her parents, Elizabeth Riley (who lived to 96) and John Mosse, welcomed into the world their daughter, Violet, on March 13, 1900 — born on the same premises where she still lives, 116 years later.
|116-year-old Violet Mosse Brown|
“I live by the grace of God and I am proud of my age!” declares Mrs Violet Mosse Brown, the world’s second-oldest living person according to the Guinness Book of Records and Wikipedia.
Mrs Mosse Brown exudes peace and contentment as she sits on her cool verandah, enjoying the comings and goings of the district. Beside her is her 96-year-old son, Harold Fairweather, incredibly youthful in appearance and widely believed to be the oldest person with a living parent. He lived in England for many years but says he returned home to be with his beloved mother, noting that she had sacrificed much for him and his other five siblings.
Mrs Mosse Brown receives support from her relatives, a devoted friend, Ms Elaine McGrawder and her caregiver, Delita Grant. They enjoy the company of this positive lady, who shares many gems of faith and poetry with them. Her favourite is The Vision of Belshazzar by Lord Byron, which she recited to us without a hitch.
At 13, a devout Violet was received into the Baptist Church, where she was given to read Psalm 119, verse 133 — words that she has never forgotten. She declared them to us: “Order my steps in Thy word and let no sin have any dominion over me.”
|95 y-o Harold Fairweather|
Mrs Mosse Brown and her husband worked as cane farmers, selling their crop to the Long Pond Sugar Estate. Later, he became the caretaker for the neighbouring cemetery, calling on his wife’s skills to assist him in record keeping. Her son, Harold, showed me the book in which she diligently entered information on the individuals buried in the cemetery.
It dates back to 1952 and Mrs Mosse Brown’s beautiful handwriting is a testament to the pride she took in her work, recording each name and other details for registration at the parish council.
We were impressed by the cheerful support in the Brown household. ‘Miss V’ was asked several times if she wanted a cup of tea, which she eventually had just before our departure. Her son, Harold, told us that she enjoys small meals.
“She likes fish and mutton and sometimes she will have cow foot,” he says, “but she does not eat pork or chicken”. Her other preferences are sweet potatoes, irish potatoes, breadfruit, and fruit, especially oranges and mangoes. more