Wed | Nov 29, 2023

110-y-o Trelawny woman reveals secret to long life

Published:Monday | March 8, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Centenarian Violet Brown reads her 'Daily Bread' devotional at home. - Photo by Sheena Gayle
Centenarian Violet Brown.

Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer


READING HER Daily Bread devotional flawlessly without the assistance of eyewear, 110-year-old Violet Mosses Brown has discovered the secret to living a long and happy life without some of the ills associated with old age.

"Honour your mother and father so your days may be long," the affable centenarian said, referring to the Ten Commandments, as she credited her respect for family, life and people in general, as well as a lot of hard work when she was younger, for helping her lead a fruitful life.

"Really and truly, when people ask what me eat and drink to live so long, I say to them that I eat everything, except pork and chicken, and I don't drink rum and dem tings. You know, sometimes I ask myself, 'Am I really 110 years old?' because I don't feel like 110," she added, smiling.

Though less active nowadays, Brown boasts she is able to make her bed in the mornings, but her 89-year-old son and grandson who live with her do not allow her to do much. She has no major illness, and her inability to hear well doesn't affect her much.

Born March 4, 1900, Brown vividly remembers the days when she had to walk three miles barefooted to fetch water and be home in time to go to school by 9 a.m.

"I tell you, these young people these days have it easy - piped water, taxis and buses to bring them where they want to go, everything to their convenience. When I was younger, and even as an adult, I had to work so hard that sometimes when I look back, I cry at how hard I had to work to make a living for my family," Brown, a one-time dressmaker, domestic helper and farmer, reminisced.

Resident in the western Jamaica town of Duanvale, Trelawny, Brown enjoys reading and is still able to effortlessly recite a poem she learnt while attending elementary school a century ago. Listening to music, practising shorthand and typing are among her hobbies, she said, but pride of place goes to her unwavering contribution to the Church, which is her greatest joy.

"I love the Church," Brown told
The Gleaner
. "I have been baptised since I was 13 years old and I have over 50 years of staunch contribution to the Church," she said animatedly, showing off a plaque she received from the Trelawny Baptist Association when she was 107 years old.