James hopes to see 100 more
BARBADOS’ LATEST CENTENARIAN James Springer did not spare the rod. And all of his six children testified to that fact as they celebrated their father’s milestone in the presence of Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave on Friday.
Springer’s fourth child, Cicely Scott, delivered a touching yet humorous speech about her father’s life before family and well-wishers at Harmony Circleat The Belle, St Michael.
She said that after moving from Mount All and Baxters in St Andrew to Whitehall, St Michael, Springer spent many years as a labourer at Friendship Plantation, St Michael, before going on to be a watchman at the cassava factory at Lancaster, St James.
Scott described her father as supportive,hard-working and a disciplinarian.
“I remember him coming home after working the night shift and proceeding to cut the canes he had on his land and caring for his animals. [And] while we were growing up, he was a strict disciplinarian and never wasted any time in using his three-inch belt to remind us of his policies,” she recalled jokingly.
“He has mellowed somewhat in his later days. This family is now able to sit with him and make jokes about his past, and I dare say that that was not the case when we were growing up as he never entertained that kind of rapport,” Scott recalled.
Scott also said her father was healthy and responsive and in spite of arthritis wanted to live for another hundred years.
“Dad, we love you and wish that a cure for arthritis will be found soon that you will be able to live a more enjoyable day-to-day life for the next 200 years that you have indicated you are going to live for.”
Springer said he felt “very, very good” to have reached the milestone and that he was happy to meet the Governor General.
Sir Elliott expressed joy to be celebrating withthe family and asked them not to overworkthe man of the day.
“Ensure that you don’t overwork your boy too much because he was waiting and looking and hoping to reach this day.
“I have my doubts that he will reach 200, but I am not the Almighty… but don’t hasten the day of his demise, handle him gently as he handled you all,”he said. (TSG)
Centenarian James Springer has four grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and six children. Here, he is surrounded by each of the six, (from left) Amerel Springer, Janice Springer, Geoffrey Springer, Cicely Scott, Patrick Springer and Monica Clarke as he celebrated his birthday on Friday.