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John celebrates 100th birthday

John celebrates 100th birthday

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The loss of a leg and his vision due to diabetes does not dampen Reginald John’s spirits, and did not prevent him from celebrating his one-hundredth birthday with the humour that he has been known for over the years.{{more}}

John became a centenarian on Wednesday, November 5th, in the company of some of his children, grand children and great grand children.

The Rillan Hill resident, who claims to have spent all his life, with the exception of six months spent in Trinidad and Tobago, in St. Vincent, received a surprise visit from Governor-General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, with whom he shared some laughs and reflected on his past life.

When asked by Sir Frederick about his secret to long life, John or ‘Reggie’ as he is called, explained that it had much to do with his faith in God and taking care of himself.

“If you pray to God and ask God to help you and do the right thing he will see you through,” John explained.

“I used to take care of me body, too. I was not a smoker, was not a rum drinker and I used to make a lot of jokes.”

The father of seven, grandfather of many and great grandfather of many others, also credited his daughter Odingo, her boyfriend Lenroy ‘Chubby’ Simmons and his other relatives and friends for taking care of him after losing his sight about ten years ago, then his left leg in 2002.

Opting not to delve into too many details of his past life, John reminisced on the numerous jobs that he has had over the years, which included his employment with the original telephone company of the day and others.

“Ah pound stone, ah dig bank, ah do all kinda farming. Ah used to work day and night.”

He admitted that his favourite job was being a night watchman, and having to chase a thief or two during his days.

Touching briefly on politics, John remembers the Joshua era and a number of politicians before him.

Jumping forward to the present, when asked about the newly elected president of the United States, John said the news of a black president made him feel ‘funny’ inside.

In advising persons hoping to live as long as he has, John said that they should “Eat good, drink good, take care of your body, make a lot of jokes and don’t trouble nobody.” (JJ)