Ethel Lawrence cheated death and lived for 106 years
CENTENARIAN Ethel Lawrence cheated death as a newborn to survive the 1907 earthquake, after the building she was in collapsed as she slept in a basket. Lawrence always saw it as a sign that God had a purpose for her life and that purpose came to an end when she died peacefully at the age of 106.
Yesterday tributes flowed for the St Catherine centenarian as mourners reminisced on fond memories of Lawrence who was said to have strung needles and read her Bible up to age 102.
Ann-Marie Virgo in eulogising her grandmother said Lawrence was much more than a mother to her children but also to the entire community where she was living in Naggo Head, Portmore, before she relocated to Braeton.
"Her house was known as 'Big Yard' in Naggo Head where people from the surrounding community came for assistance," Virgo recalled.
She remembered her grandmother as a die-hearted Christian who continued to witness to others even when she became a shut-in.
"While sitting on the verandah she would witness to young men and women passing by and she would say 'young men the Lord call upon you because you are strong you must give your life to the Lord'."
Virgo said Lawrence was a kind-hearted person who was always giving. "Whenever my mom bought the groceries in the house she would hide them in her pockets and call kids passing by saying 'here, carry this home to your mother let she cook something for you'."
Shortly before she died, Virgo said Lawrence was always hearing a particular song which no on else could hear.
"She would call us asking if we don't hear the sweet song coming from next door but we told her we didn't, only she alone could hear it. The song went like this 'Come angel band come around me stand draw me away on your wings to my immortal home'."
Lawrence left behind four children, 26 grandchildren, 58 great-grandchildren and 12 great great-grandchildren.