'Dem just wicked'

Centenarian expresses concern about crime

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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“Dem kill more often than dem drink water,” was how 100-year-old Luah Miller described people responsible for acts of crime and violence across the country.

Miller spoke briefly with the Jamaica Observer at last Thursday's Centenarian's Day Recognition and Awards Ceremony held at Hotel Versalles in Clarendon.

Miller, who was obviously concerned about the spate of crime and violence across the island, said the perpetrators are fond of killing.

“First time people sick until them old... but now is just the killing,” Miller said.

The mother of one, who said she eats just about anything she feels like, explained that in years gone by, people displayed good manners.

“My days were much better than now. It was cheaper, people had more manners and we respected people. But now dem will just look on you and just kill you. Dem just wicked,” she said, adding that she is afraid to talk to the younger generation.

“The way how dem bad, you might be talking to dem about the good and it just turn 'round bad, you understand?” she said.

Despite her concerns, Miller said she was grateful to be alive.

“I feel good. I am a hundred. I can hear, I can eat, I can talk, I can walk,” Miller said, adding that she is hoping that crime and violence will decrease and individuals will seek God by the time she marks her 101st birthday.

Miller was among three centenarians who attended the awards ceremony hosted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security's National Council for Senior Citizens.

Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson told guests that Clarendon was selected to host the awards ceremony because the country's oldest person, Stephen Wright, resides in the parish.

However, Wright, who is 116 years old, was unable to attend the event.

At the same time, Robinson lauded senior citizens for their contribution to the country's development.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am sure that you will agree with me that the prosperity, progress, growth, and gains we are enjoying today have been made possible through the tremendous effort of sacrifices of our seniors and elders in communities across the island,” the minister said.

In addition, she urged individuals to pay special attention to seniors and to make provisions for them in the future.

“There is no doubt in our minds that we must confront our challenges that come with an ageing population. Today, as I speak, approximately 12.6 per cent of our population is comprised of seniors, and this figure is expected to increase significantly as the population ages,” she continued.

She also said that while the Government seeks to enhance growth and development, create jobs and find housing solutions, it is also mindful of the varying needs of seniors.

According to the minister, the Government intends to fulfil their needs through the revised national policy for senior citizens.

There are 186 centenarians across the island.

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