Chalk it up to good health or good nature but more than two hundred Jamaicans are celebrating Centenarian’s Day today, May 20, having seen 100 years or more of life.
Most notable is Charles James, Jamaica’s oldest citizen at 115, according to Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s records.
Jamaica, who is fondly called “Mass Taata” was born on February 5, 1905 in Hopewell District, Westmoreland. He has lived through both World Wars and enjoyed a 60-year marriage to his wife, Louise, which produced eight children.
When asked why he has lived so long, Maas Taata said his faith and relationship with God have been the reasons. He says his obedience to the Bible verse, Exodus 20:12 “Honour they father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God has given” has also contributed to his long life.
Jamaica has 204 centenarians as recorded with the Nartional Council for Senior Citizens, with seven of them being supercentenarians, someone who has reached 110 years.
St Catherine has the distinction of being the parish with the most centenarians with 21, followed by Manchester and St Andrew with 18 each.