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An extraordinary senior citizen - ‘Aunt V’ turns 113

‘Aunt V’ turns 113

BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, March 29, 2013    

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DUANVALE, Trelawny

SEATED under the shade of a tent erected at the front of her home, Violette Brown, affectionately called 'Aunt V', was a picture of concentration, last week, as family and community members paid tribute to her during a celebratory ceremony to mark the 113th anniversary of her birth.

The oldest member of the Duanvale community was praised for her sharp memory, witty comments, counselling, extraordinarily good health, skill at playing the church's organ, amongst her many other attributes.

In a gesture seeming to provide proof of her powers of retention, the senior citizen recited a poem titled The Creation, much to the delight of her younger guests.

Among those who paid tribute to the community matriarch was the councillor for the Sherwood Content Division Telka Holt. Holt displayed a book penned by 'Aunt V', which contained the names of all the dead buried in the Duanvale Cemetery between 1950 and 1978 — her husband being the penultimate entry.

"This is a woman who we can say contributed significantly to the community. She has been humorous in her discussions, possesses good health, a memory that is outstanding, and, of course, she was the record keeper for all deaths in Duanvale," noted Holt.

Holt disclosed that she has been inspired to take a page from Aunt V's record- keeping book.

"The book contains information such as the date, the name of deceased, occupation, the age, cause of death, persons responsible for burial, religion, even fees collected. I have already taken steps to ensure that all my cemetery keepers in the Sherwood Content Division record in the same manner that Aunt V did," Holt emphasised.

President of the Trelawny Art and Craft and Entertainment Association Joy Laesch, who deputised for Trelawny Custos Paul Muschett, community and family members were among those who paid tribute to the senior citizen.

And Aunt V's grandson, 62-year-old Vernon Davis described his grandmother as the unifying force behind the family.

"She was a person who used to keep the family together. She has been hard-working," said Davis, who has lived with his grandmother from he was young.

Davis said he was told by Aunt V that she was born in Duanvale on March 15, 1900 — one of four children from a union between John Moss, a sugar boiler at Long Pond, and Elizabeth Riley, a housekeeper, who died at the age of 96.

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