Jamaican Violet Mosse Brown now world’s oldest human

Jamaican Violet Mosse Brown now world’s oldest human

Saturday, April 15, 2017

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Jamaican Violet Mosse Brown became the world’s oldest human yesterday after the passing of Italian Emma Morano, who was born on November 29, 1899.

Mosse Brown is 117 years old, having been born on March 10, 1900. Affectionately called Aunt V, she lives in Duanvale, Trelawny.

Her eldest child, Harold Fairweather, at age 96, is said to be the world’s oldest living person with a parent also alive.

Aunt V’s parents, Elizabeth Riley (who lived to 96 years) and John Mosse brought her into the world on the same premises which she now lives.

Aunt V and her husband worked as cane farmers, selling their crop to Long Pond Sugar Estate. Later her husband became the caretaker at the neighbouring cemetery, calling on his wife’s skills to assist him in record keeping.

Her birthplace, Duanvale, is a neighbouring district to Sherwood Content, where Jamaican track legend Usain Bolt was born.

One of the supercentenarian’s caretakers told Jamaica Observer columnist Jean Lowrie-Chin last year: "She likes fish and mutton and sometimes she will have cow foot, but she does not eat pork or chicken." Her other preferences are sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, breadfruit, and fruits, especially oranges and mangoes.

"Mrs Mosse Brown receives support from her relatives, a devoted friend, Ms Elaine McGrawder and her caregiver, Delita Grant. They enjoy the company of this positive lady, who shares many gems of faith and poetry with them. Her favourite is The Vision of Belshazzar by Lord Byron, which she recited to us without a hitch," Lowrie-Chin wrote in her May 23, 2016 column.

According to the US-based Gerontology Research Group (GRG), in 1900, when Mosse Brown was born, Jamaica was part of the British West Indies, so her records are from the British Government, in Queen Victoria’s time.

"Unless a surprise candidate comes out of the trees, she is the oldest living Victorian," Robert Young, director of the Los Angeles-based GRG’s Supercentenarian Research and Database Division told AFP.

The previous oldest living person, Morano, died at her home in Verbania, northern Italy as the last survivor of the 19th century, reports said.

The world longevity record, Young noted, remained with French woman Jeanne Calment, who died at 122 in 1997, having outlived both her daughter and grandson.

A supercentenarian is someone who has lived to or passed their 110th birthday. There are estimated to be 300 to 450 living supercentenarians in the world, though only 50 verified cases are known.

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