Sister Mac still got the moves
Louise McCollin can no longer dance up the aisle of the Stroude Land Christian Mission Church like she used to, but yesterday she showed that at 100 years old she still has rhythm.
The spritely birthday girl, who is affectionately known as Sister Mac, danced in her chair whenever the beating of the cymbals and the familiar tunes of her favourite choruses and songs hit home.
There was no visit by Governor General Dame Sandra Mason at her Bushy Park, St Philip home, but between her two surviving children, one of whom flew in from New York for the special occasion, her grandchildren several times removed and her church family, they all made sure she was treated like royalty.
Sister Mac took the charge about sparing the rod and spoiling the child very seriously.
Her son Rupert Forde, who migrated to New York in 1979, said he was the only boy and the last of three and got plenty floggings.
Admitting to “not listening very well”, Forde said his mother had a “good aim” and “straight hand” and he has a scar by his left eye and some in his head to prove it. He laughed at the memories and said he was thankful today she insisted he learnt to do the same things as his sisters as he was expected to do everything his sisters did.
He said it was “beautiful” to be home celebrating with his mum.
“It’s very emotional for me because I lost my father at the age of 46, August the 13th, 1958. To have my mother here at 100 years, it’s beautiful. And if you see this old ugly man crying, that’s okay. I don’t have a problem with that. I’m so happy for her,” Forde said.
His sister Marjorie Holder, who looks after their mum, smiled and shook her hand as she too remembered the discipline she inflicted on them. She, too, was overjoyed to be celebrating the milestone with their mum, whom she said “could be a bit stubborn sometimes”.
The birthday girl has a hearty appetite and likes cou cou, cooked biscuits and rice. The retired labourer at Congo Plantation was full of praises to God for bringing her to 100 years old.
“I fought the fight and run the race and my life is in Christ’s hands. He’s too sweet to me, I love muh Lord. He soon call me home, yuh think I could live another 100. No . . . . God bring me from far, keep trusting and believing. Keep a clean hand and a pure heart,” she said. (YB)