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Latest centenarian attributes long life to ‘bush tea’

Latest centenarian attributes long life to ‘bush tea’
James ‘Burke’ ‘Poto’ Davis


One hundred years healthy, new centenarian James ‘Burke’ ‘Poto’ Davis attributes this to drinking bush teas, made with moringa and soursop bush.

This Wednesday, May 22, Davis officially became a centenarian, and he spent the day enjoying good food, and lots of company. “I’m just feeling happy by the Almighty God. He carry me safe, he bring me safe,” Davis expressed to SEARCHLIGHT at his residence.

Apart from some of his daughters, granddaughters and great grandchildren, the spritely 100-year-old was laughing and joking with representatives from the young democrats of the New Democratic Party(NDP), and talk show host for the NDP, Colin ‘The Hitman’ Graham and his family, who came bearing gifts.

Latest centenarian attributes long life to ‘bush tea’
Centenarian James ‘Burke’ ‘Poto’ Davis sits amidst some of the three generations that came after him

Davis “old talked” and remained the centre of everybody’s attention with his timely jokes.

While Davis now lives at Ratho Mill, where the small get together was held, he was born in a house in Diamond. He later moved to Brighton where he attended the Brighton school.

Growing up he had two siblings, a sister, Vera Samuel, and a brother, George Samuel, who are deceased. “So me ain hah no brother and sister now, more than me alone,” Davis summarized.

His wife, Enith Phillips, died 41 years ago, on March 10, 1978, at the age of 55 after being in the hospital for a month because of a stroke. Davis, who married her at the age of 35 years, has never remarried.

The centenarian lived to see yet another tragedy in his life, when his first grandchild drowned on September 6, 1991.

However, Davis is the head of a very large kingdom, with seven children, 20 grandchildren, and ‘around’ 20 great grandchildren, which were a little harder to count.

And for each grandchild in this large kingdom, Davis made sure to give them one of the animals that he used to rear, when he was younger and stronger; his family said.

“Me used to do plenty work fuh mind me children dem…and I mind them!”

He said he worked to prevent his wife and children from having to beg. He worked in various places for his “honest bread” doing cutlass work, hoe work, fork work, and “all kinda different work.”

But now, Davis feels doubtful about the situation for the young people these days, as according to him, the best they can do is live how they can. He said many of them do bad things, wickedness, but they can’t help as there is no work for them.

“Them got to do it because they cyar…no work now fuh do. They have to do something to get by life, car no work dey for dem do.”

Apart from an active life, perhaps, what has kept Davis healthy, with no diabetes, no high blood pressure or major illness lies in his garden. “All sort of thing that I use…the plenty bushes and ting that I use to drink and ting, You see… keep all those things away from me.”

“You see soursop bush? Soursop bush is nice to drink,” he says, noting that it keeps cancer away. Pointing to the Moringa outside, he also recommended this.

Davis says that he doesn’t have any regrets, “Feel nice,” he concluded shortly.

The centenarian has no fear of death. “I ain want nothing more, more than eating and drinking, and prepare myself for death…yeah… prepare meself for when the Lord in Heaven call me home. I want to get home with a clean hand, and a pure heart. I ain want to get home with a dirty hand, and a dirty heart…clean hand, and a pure hear,” the man, who is a Seventh Day Adventist, stated.