Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Papa Cyril Walker turns 103!

Published:Saturday | May 14, 2016 | 5:00 AMShanna Kaye Monteith
103 year-old Cyril Walker
Papa cutting cake with help of Mikhail DeSouza, great grandson.
Papa remembers everything.
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Don't Scatter Roses When I'm Gone, Give them to me while I carry On

Nothing says family reunion like the celebration of a 103-year-old member.

Cyril Walker of the tranquil community of Sunning Hill, Bath, lived his way to the title of oldest man residing in the parish of St Thomas.

Extremely excited by their father's longevity, Hyacinth Walker-DeSouza, alongside her siblings and offspring, rounded up neighbours and other members of the community to celebrate yet another milestone.

In fact, she told Family and Religion that this is the third birthday party held to honour her father as they have been celebrating ever since hit the hundred-year-old mark.

"Papa always remembers his birthday! When he just turned 103 years old we didn't think of throwing him a birthday party, but his great grandchildren suggested it and we put it into practice.

"All his children, grandchildren and 'greatgrands' attended the party on Sunday. People from his church and the community came out to celebrate Papa, too. People always look forward to Papa's party," she said, adding that the entire community of Sunning Hill affectionately refer to her father as 'Papa'.

 

A FAMILY MAN

 

Describing her father as a family man, Walker-DeSouza, who is the youngest of 16 children joked about how Papa still treats her like a baby.

"Whenever I visit he would ask me questions like: 'Do you have money to go to work?' or 'Do you have enough money to buy gas?'

I am 58 years old, yet I am still his baby!" she laughed.

Walker-DeSouza spoke of her father's earlier years and how dedicated he was to his family.

"He was living and working in England as a hospital porter for many years! And though I only met him when I was 17 years old, he always ensured that we had our money to go to school and for food.

"Now he never fails to remind people how he 'educate us off of nothing' because he had to do 'dirty work' to ensure his family was always alright," she said.

Papa, who had always been a farmer, even before he went to work overseas, apparently still has the urge to visit the field in his current 'day and age'.

According to his youngest child: "Papa was a great farmer and, even now, he thinks he can go and plant things, which, of course, is impossible.

"Because he was such a big farmer in his times, he will tell you that he wants to go out to the farm. He cannot do it but in his mind, he thinks he can. Probably if we would allow him, then he would try to pull himself out the wheelchair and go.

"Apart from being in the wheelchair and sometimes having a little difficulty hearing, everything for Papa is intact. Especially his memory! Papa remembers everything!"

The centenarian who is a member of the Baptist church within the community is visited at least once per month by his fellow brethrens who regularly allows him his usual communion.

"I am going to live to bury all my family," is said to be one of Papa's most uttered phrases which he has being reportedly been saying for over 30 years, and according to his daughter, Papa has already buried his wife of 80 years and two of his sons.

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com