Fri | Jun 25, 2021

'God is my keeper'

Published:Saturday | March 24, 2012 | 12:00 AM
At 96 years old, Wilhen Daley, a former teacher and postmistress, is the most senior resident of Green Island in Hanover.

Mark Titus, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Born on August 27, 1915, Wilhen Daley has lived a full life and is hoping that the four years left to reach her 100th birthday will still find her in good health.

"It has been a wonderful journey, so far. God has been good to me; there is nothing to complain about," said the accommodating 'Aunt Wilhen'.

She is the most senior citizen in Green Island. She attended the elementary school in the community before going into teaching.

"Teaching was my first love, but my mother encouraged me to work for the postal service because most of the family was involved in that area," she told Western Focus. "So I left teaching after a while and served in a number of capacities, up to postmistress, before I retired."

Aunt Wilhen has outlived five of her seven siblings. She recalled that in the early days, she had to walk to school.

She also remembered that Green Island had its own courthouse, post office, and market to serve the community, which was divided into old and new Green Island.

She never had any children of her own, but spoke with pride of the more than 100 kids that she helped to raise.

"In those days, every adult had the responsibility of raising the child. I had a task that I carried out with the help of God."

Low point

One of the low points in Aunt Wilhen's life was losing her right leg because of "poor blood circulation" four years ago, but she is grateful for the support of her adopted children, family, and church.

"It was a striking moment. I never knew I would survive this, but I am okay now. God has strengthened me," stated the long-standing member of the United Church of God in Jamaica and Grand Cayman.

"I now look to God, who is the keeper of my life. He has kept me. This is something Jamaica needs to know. Our nation will not be better until we return to the days when everyone in the community raises the child. If we don't get back there, God help us!"