Golden Grove man is newest centenarian

James Alexander Peters celebrated 100 years of life yesterday becoming Antigua and Barbuda’s newest centenarian. (Photo courtesy Ronald Peters)

He may be 100 years old, but, James Alexander Peters of Golden Grove is living on his own and is an active member of the St. Boniface Men’s Fellowship.

Peters became the country’s newest centenarian yesterday and was celebrated during a church service in his honour.

Ronald Peters told OBSERVER media yesterday that his father is a hardworking and dedicated family man who provided for his nine children, three of whom are now deceased.

“My father is a man who cares a lot for family, but, he is a disciplinarian. All his children went to private school and the money he made from raising his cows would pay our school fees,” Ronald said.

James was born in Ebenezer and later moved to Ovals as a young man, he eventually settled in Golden Grove in the 1960s.

As a youth, James

attended the Cedar Hall Government School, however, he discontinued his education at an early age to assist his mother to financially support his younger siblings.

His first job was at the Antigua Sugar Factory with his cousin, Cecil Joseph, who was the engineer there. After several years, James got a job with Moody-Stuart of the Syndicate Estates who owned many of the plantations at the time.

“He was a ranger and oversaw the plantation and lands from Cooks Plantation to Creekside.  He worked until all the lands were handed over from Moody-Stuart, and then he was assigned to work in the Water Division until 1976, it was not the [Antigua Public Utilities Authority]. When the government changed, he was out of work for a while and then he went to Antigua Masonry Products until his retirement in 1983 when he was 65,” the son added.

Ronald said that after retirement, his dad travelled to the United States several times after getting his Green Card, but opted not to return there and continues to live in Antigua after selling all the cattle he used to supplement his income.

The centenarian is not a picky eater and enjoys oats porridge with cocoa and two hard boil eggs in the morning.

“He eats two to three meals per day and before he eats he sips a little Napoleon brandy to warm the stomach,” Ronald said. “’He loves fungee and he will tell you that nobody can cook it like him. He can tell you when a meal is home cooked or bought and he always prefer a home cooked meal,” Ronald said, adding that his father loves drinking bush tea, coffee or cocoa tea.

At his ripe age, James still reads his Bible daily, hears very well, is collective and mobile.

His surviving children are Josephine, Edworth, Dorothy, Genevieve, Ronald and James Jr.

The centenarian was treated to a programme organised by the Community Development Division.

Governor General Sir Rodney Williams, also visited with him.

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