Diamond Jubilee monument for Jamaica’s super centenarian

File photo of the world's oldest person Violet Brown as she posed for a photo at her home in Duanvale, Jamaica, Sunday, April 16, 2017. The 117-year-old woman who lived in the hills of western Jamaica was believed to have become the world's oldest person, according to groups that monitor human longevity. She died on Sept. 15, 2017.
Associated Press/Raymond Simpson, file

On July 27, 2017, Violet Moss Brown claimed a coveted title with newspapers headlining news stories that the world’s ‘Oldest living woman is Jamaican.’

Publishers rallied to report the global news and reporters jockeyed to find and research the lifelong habits of the rural Jamaican native many referred to as Aunt V.

They wanted to discover the secret to her longevity and perhaps even pattern feasting on the delicacies particularly the yellow yam prevalent in her Duanvale, Trelawny community.

Some wanted to walk the walks she took to live 117 years and 189 days.

The super-centenarian died Sept. 15, 2017 and now in her native island, a life-size bust — will be erected in the tiny parish where she lived.

Olivia Grange, the island’s minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport, said a monument to Violet Moss Brown is set to become the first in a series to mark Jamaica’s Diamond Jubilee.

Arrangements are being made to “have the bust ready for unveiling on the anniversary of ‘Aunt V’s passing,” Grange said.

Moss-Brown was affectionately called ‘Aunt V’ and was the record holder for the world’s ‘Oldest living person’ and ‘Oldest living woman.’

Grange said her office will work with the Trelawny Municipal Corporation to honor the survivor who outlived many of the world’s longest human occupants.

Colin Gager, the mayor of the parish of Falmouth, said Palmers Crescent, the road on which ‘Aunt V’s home is located will be renamed in honor of the supercentenarian.

Jamaica will celebrate 60 years of independence next year.

Plans for the ministry and the local municipality will collaborate on a series of activities in the lead-up to the official period of commemorations.

 

TOOTS WINS POSTHUMOUS REGGAE GRAMMY

Frederick Nathaniel Hibbert was the big winner in the all-star reggae category of the 63rd annual Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles, California recently. More commonly known as Toots, the iconic lead singer is best known for his association with the Maytals which he led until his unexpected death.

Toots earned global recognition and admiration throughout his storied but succumbed at age 77.

He garnered the coveted music prize for his 10-track “Got to be Tough” studio album which he released last August.

This victory marks his second after winning in 2005 for a recording titled “True Love.”

“Toots put his all into this album and I’m very glad to see him recognized for his creative excellence and musical genius,” Jamaica’s culture minister said. “This is a great moment of celebration, not only for Toots’ family, his team or his record label, but for all Jamaicans, especially those of us in the reggae industry.”

The reggae icon was honored by the music industry’s most reputed experts and members of the National Association of Recording Arts & Sciences who voted him the best of five reggae recording finalists in 2020, to include Skip Marley, Maxi Priest, The Wailers and Buju Banton.

Hibbert died last year after completing the hit album and was remembered during the en memorium segment of the honors which acknowledged a roster of super-achievers who died during the year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The industry lost more than 1,000 contributors. Their names are listed at the grammy.com web portal. Representing rap, pop, reggae, country, classical, jazz, gospel, rock, Latin, and all 80 categories there was not a genre unaffected by the trauma of death last year and into 2021.

Some of the unforgettable personalities included pop/reggae singer Johnny Nash, Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell, South African leader of Black Mambazo Joseph Shabala, jazz musician Chick Corea, R&B crooner Bill Withers, country singer Kenny Rogers, aka Little Richard, Supreme member Mary Wilson and reggae legend and co-founder with Peter Tosh and Bob Marley of the Wailing Wailers Neville Livingston aka Bunny Wailer who died earlier this month.

I have personally interacted with all those personalities and will remember fondly each and every one of them as winners and uniquely superstars.

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