'Bury her here'

Duanvale residents insist Aunt V's body be laid to rest in the community

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, October 05, 2017

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DUANVALE, Trelawny - Residents of this rural community are demanding that the body of their beloved late supercentenarian Violet Moss Brown, affectionately called Aunt V, be buried in the community's cemetery instead of being donated to the University of the West Indies for scientific research.

According to some family members, including her son Sylvera Russell, Moss Brown, who held the record as the oldest living person when she passed on September 15, had requested that her body be donated to the hospital for research.

But, scores of irate Duanvale residents are disputing this claim, arguing that Moss Brown, a native of the community, whose late husband, Augustus Brown, was a cemetery keeper, frequently expressed that she be buried beside him in the Duanvale cemetery.

“We in the community are wondering why we can't get Aunt V to bury her ... she wanted to bury beside her husband and she want to wear her wedding band when she is laid to rest. That was her choice. She told me and she told other people,” Yvonne Morgan, otherwise called Miss Ellis, told the Jamaica Observer West.

Another community member, Martel Hawkins, concurred.

“A person great as Aunt V… we must have in the cemetery that people could come and know say is here she lie. She always been saying to the cemetery keeper, leave me space beside me husband you know. So all of a sudden we hear Aunt V wish was to donate. Something wrong there,” an upset Hawkins pointed out.

Another very vocal woman, Rose, expressed similar sentiments.

“I don't care if dem want kill me when me done talk. This lady a mi mother, mi grandmother and mi great grandmother, she is my everything. And she is a blessing in this community and throughout the world. … She say she want to bury beside her husband,” Rose emphasised.

“We want see her body in our cemetery. We don't want her body a university fi cut up, cut her up because dem want know why God mek she live so long. A God make she live so long. They can't find out it.”

Meanwhile, many of the scores of people who gathered to express objection to Moss Brown's corpse being donated to the university, called for her to be buried in the community cemetery “where future generations can visit as a historical site.”

“My great grandchildren could come and see the tomb in the cemetery and we could tell them this is where the oldest woman in the whole world is buried. Can't sell her out like that. We want show children, grandchildren,” one female member of the gathering commented.

In April this year Moss Brown became the world's oldest living person following the death of Italian Emma Morano, earning a place in the Guinness Book of Records for her longevity.

On September 3, Moss Brown was visited by representatives of the Guinness Book of Records, who presented her with a citation and the 2018 edition of the book.

The body will be turned over to the university on Monday, October 9, a day after a thanksgiving service at Trittonville Baptist Church in Moss Brown's community.

Mos Brown's body will be available for viewing from 9:30 am to 11:00 am with the service following immediately after.

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