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King George brings laughter on his birthday


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Barbados’ latest centenarian is Eric Blenman, who is proud to be called King George as he often boasts that he was born on May 13, 1910, the same date that King George ascended the throne of England.On Friday morning, Blenman was visited at the Geriatric Hospital by the Governor General Sir Clifford Husbands and they chatted at length.The former cane cutter and bread vendor, who used a donkey cart to sell bread in various districts, was born in Melrose,  St Thomas, where he spent most of his life before moving to Grazettes  in St Michael. Blenman moved to the Geriatric Hospital in 2005.Blenman never fathered any children, but he  and his first wife adopted two children. Blenman also outlived his second wife, who had brought  two children into  their marriage.The visit from Sir Clifford gave Blenman the chance to reminisce about some of his early days at Holy Innocents, where he and his schoolfriends would cut bamboos  for a Mr Jones, who would enter the class with a smile that signalled lashes were coming.When quizzed by the Governor General as to when last he had seen a bamboo and as to whether the nurses should be given a bamboo, Blenman created tremendous laughter in the B4 Ward by stating: “They wouldn’t know what to do with it.”Nurse has been a good friend to Blenman for over 30 years, and he, along with the other members of the James Street Methodist Church, has adopted the jovial centenarian, who describes life as “in and out”. (KB)