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Sisnett’s life ‘a story of hope’


marciadottin, [email protected]

Sisnett’s life  ‘a story  of hope’

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SUPER CENTENARIAN James Sisnett was laid to rest after a requiem mass yesterday morning at his home church of St Luke’s Anglican, St George, where he was baptized, confirmed and married.
Mourners spilled out of the church and into the yard, where speakers and a large screen were set up to allow those forced to sit under tents to follow the service of celebration for the life of Sisnett, who was the world’s second oldest man and oldest in the Western Hemisphere when he died on May 23 at the age of 113.
Archbishop Dr John Holder led about ten members of the clergy, who participated in the communion service. Member of Parliament for St George South Dwight Sutherland, his colleague from St George North Gline Clarke and Minister of Foreign Affairs Senator Maxine McClean were among those paying respects to the man who was small in stature, but a giant in so many ways.
The message of hope was the main theme in Holder’s sermon. He told the congregation that there was always hope in God.
Indeed, the archbishop said Sisnett’s long life was a story of hope in itself.
“It is a reminder of one area of blessing that we have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy in this country. We rank high in the world as a nation, in terms of our ratio of centenarians to the size of our population. And this is a great blessing, not only upon those who have passed the great age of 100, but on all of us as we benefit from their wisdom and experience gathered over their many years.”
Holder told members of the congregation that in thanking God for Sisnett, they needed to give thanks for their own lives and the many blessings as well.
It was God and God alone who would do the sorting in the end and He had the last word, he added.  
Sisnett was eulogized by his son Vincent, who traced his father’s life from the days at St Luke’s Boys’ School, to his first job as a trainee blacksmith to retirement from Kendal Sugar and Syrup Factory in 1970.
Sisnett, who was an avid reader, received many awards and accolades over the years. His “crowning” moment was said to be in 2000, when he received the Barbados Centennial Honour for his contribution to agriculture.
Vincent said Sisnett’s happiest moment was last year when the road in Ellerton leading to his home was renamed the James Sisnett Road. He also had the distinction of being named as one of the heroes of St George in 2009. There is a permanent picture of Sisnett at the Salters entrance to the parish and his name is inscribed near the Post Office.
Those are just some of the permanent reminders of the man who passed away as quietly as he lived. (YB)

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