Adventists celebrate Mother’s Day with the oldest Jamaican
Violet Moss Brown the oldest Jamaican, had a group of Seventh-day Adventists spellbound with stories that spanned more than a century, as they celebrated Mother's Day last Sunday and praised God for her long life.
The approximately 20 persons from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Duanvale, Trelawny - the community where 115-year-old, Moss Brown was born - were all amazed with her wit and sharp mind at they turned up at her house bearing appreciation gifts, words of hope, songs, and prayers.
"We are here to wish you a happy Mother's Day and a happy belated birthday as well," said Pastor Carlington Hylton, community services director of the North Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists who presented a plaque to Moss Brown.
"You have lived an extraordinary life. God's blessing is on you and no doubt you are an inspiration to all," continued Hylton.
Moss Brown, who is described as Jamaica's super-centenarian, was one of four children born to John Moss and Elizabeth Riley - who died aged 96.
The Gerontology Research Group in 2014 recognised March 10, 1900 as her birth date. Previously, there were uncertainties surrounding three dates - March 4, 10 and 15, 1900. In addition, for her birthday, she was hailed by Queen Elizabeth II for reaching the age of 115, making her Jamaica's confirmed oldest person, and the smallest nation to produce a person of her age. Since then, she has moved from being the sixth to the fourth oldest person in the world.
Currently, her eldest son Harold Fairweather, age 95, who is said to be the world's "oldest living child" with a parent alive informed: "Mother has six children - four boys and two girls, but one of the boys died. And there are three generations of grand, great-grand and great-great grand; too much to count. Who possibly live all over the world".
"I was baptised at age 13 at the Duanvale Baptist Church and I had to recite on that day, Psalm 119:133," said Moss Brown. She also became the church organist and held other positions. She told of her experience of being a farmer and recalled walking from Duanvale to Brown's Town with her husband to sell produce.
"My feet hurt me so till, my husband had to stop and put my foot on a pan to rest. It was a bitter-sweet experience," she added. "But, I am here waiting on the Lord. I am one day older, one day weaker one day nearer. I feel good to have you all here".
The group was amazed by the memory of the woman, affectionately called 'Aunt V'.
This led her son to explain, "Last night she got up and she was just telling me about events that happened years ago. Some of the events makes me laugh till I cried and some are so serious," said Harold. "I don't understand how she recalls so many things, but I am happy that she is such a strong woman. She is indeed a tower of strength."
At one point during the encounter, when Aunt V recognised that two Adventist pastors were beside her, she said, "We all read the same Bible and we are going to the same place, thousand times ten thousand, we will all meet Him." She then immediately began to pray, "Almighty Father, these people who come here, bless them and keep them safe, amen."
"We are all blessed this afternoon to have this prayer from a lady who is 115 years-old. What a blessing," reinforced Pastor Hylton.
Moss Brown, who said she has no medical complains, was asked what could have contributed to her long life. Her response was, "hard work and good food". Harold, though, had another version, "I tell you this story. I love farming and there is a banana tree right here in the yard that has been giving suckers for more than a hundred years now."
"So that's the banana tree I need to eat from!" exclaimed Pastor Hylton to much laughter.
"Aunt V," said Tavaughn Thomas, pastor of the Duanvale Adventist Church, "it was a pleasure being here with you, and I thank you for opening your doors to us. I wish you a happy Mother's Day and many more birthdays to come."
"No, no no," interrupted Aunt V which caused more laughter. "Remember I am one day weaker, one day older and one day nearer."