Another year, another birthday

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Catherine “Jane” Thomas is a disciplinarian and hard worker who tilled the soil to feed her 13 children, and on Sunday the Urlings resident celebrated 103 years of life.
Joseph Prince told OBSERVER media that his mother was a no-nonsense woman who insisted her children and many grandchildren must have respect for their elders.
“Even if she was turning fungee she would use that same turn stick and bless you. In her time, you could not meet an elderly person and call them by their name. It was always ‘aunty’ or ‘modest.’ If you passed an older person and didn’t greet them, that person would beat you, take you home and mom would beat you,” Prince said.
The last survivor of her 12 siblings, Thomas has lived in Urlings all her life and was raised by her three older brothers after her mother passed away after she was a “tender age.”
According to her grandaughter,  Leesaw Goodwin, Thomas is from a family of people who live long lives and many of her siblings lived past 90 years old, including one of the centenarian’s sisters, who reached 103 years, before dying three years ago.
The centenarian worked her soil up to the age of 98 years.
She is still able to see, walks with some assistance and can get around her home on her own.
Goodwin recalled growing up with her grandmother: “Spare the rod, spoil the child. That was her, she would beat, she loved when children have respect for others.”
Stating that her grandmother has already requested what she desires for her funeral, Goodwin said: “She would say to us that she was going to die, leave us and every year God continues to bless her.
Her son, Prince chimed in that Thomas insists money should not be wasted to bury her. He said the family is enjoying the time being spent with the centenarian, “giving her the roses while she is still alive.”
Thomas was treated to a party by the Community Development Division. Attendees included Sir Rodney Williams, the governor general, Samantha Marshall, member of parliament, Sharon Dalso and a team from the department, as well as family and friends.

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