Triple century! - Three family members reach 100 years
A St Ann family has shown that they can stay at the crease longer than cricket star Chris Gayle, whose famous triple century knock has covered less ground than the trio of centenarians from Jamaica’s Garden Parish.
They are Melvin Scott, 100; wife Icilda Scott, 101; and her sister, Evelyn Gibson, who turned 104 on May 23.
The three are among the 168 centenarians the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has on record as living in Jamaica. They were honoured by the ministry on Friday in observance of Centenarians’ Day in a ceremony at their home in Content Gardens, Ocho Rios.
The event, planned by the National Senior Citizens Council (NSCS), saw the three centenarians being presented with several gifts and a birthday cake in the company of friends and a host of family members that spanned several generations.
State Minister Zavia Mayne, who spoke at the ceremony, hailed the long-lasting trio. And while encouraging Jamaicans to plan for retirement, Mayne called upon the younger generation to show more love and respect to their elders.
“They have served the nation well, and no acts of abuse or violence against older persons should be tolerated. Though sometimes overlooked and underestimated, our senior citizens are national treasures who should be held in the highest esteem,” said Mayne.
Lieutenant Colonel Desmond Clarke, vice-chairman of the NSCS, and Ian Isaacs, councillor for the Exchange division, underlined the importance of being thankful.
Several family members who spoke with The Sunday Gleaner hailed the centenarians for their longevity, as the union between the Scotts produced 12 children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“It’s a great feeling. They have set a great example with their lifestyle and their living and their eating and everything. It’s a great feeling,” said grandson Lucien Dillon.
Another grandson, Dalton Scott, recalls the days when he and other grandchildren used to play in the yard in Content Gardens, and when his grandfather, a fisherman then, used to bring home the catch of the day. These are different days now. Time has elapsed. Decades.
“It’s a joy to see all three of them living,” the younger Scott said. “I don’t know how many families are fortunate to have three centenarians, so it’s a joy and a blessing. Growing up, they guided us the right and proper way. They set some perfect examples for us to follow.”
Granddaughter Nadine Brown-Hanniford and her son, Jamol, also walked down memory lane.
“Growing up, to us they were great, loving, kind, a bit strict, but at the end of the day, well supported and they are always there,” Brown-Hanniford told The Sunday Gleaner. “If I live to be their age, I would consider myself blessed to be a centenarian, too.”
Great-grandson Jamol said the occasion was quite special.
“It’s something that words can’t describe because not everybody has enough blessings to live to see their great-grandmother and great-grandfather being alive,” he said.
“It has really been a very special thing for me to know that every time I come home, I can always come up here and know they are here with bright faces. It’s a blessing to see them alive and well still.”