BY DONNA HUSSEY-WHYTE Sunday Observer Staff reporter firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday, May 11, 2014
Like most mothers, Elizabeth McKnight will today be taken to dinner by her family. That is, of course, after she goes to church.
But today is an even more special day for McKnight. She will celebrate her 105th birthday.
"She is very sharp for her age," said her caregiver, Jacqueline Rowe. "I have worked with other persons in homes and so on and you will find some persons her age not remembering, hearing or things like that. Not so with her, the things that she is doing, those who are 70, 80, and 90 cannot do that."
As if to prove Rowe's point, McKnight names all 66 books in the Bible in their correct order in less than two minutes, without hesitation. She is still able to read large prints without glasses and takes pleasure in reading the headlines of the newspapers.
"Business confidence fell sharply..." McKnight read from last Friday's Caribbean Business Report in the Jamaica Observer.
"She reads without glasses and she can hear and see very well," a proud Gloria Laing, McKnight's niece, told the Sunday Observer at the centenarian's home in Claris Brook, St Elizabeth, Friday. "And she does not take any form of medication; the only thing she takes is aspirin."
McKnight interjected: "I was born in Cameron Hill on May 11th, 1909. So Sunday is my birthday and Mother's Day -- nuff tings in one!"
She attended Glen Stewart Elementary School and completed the Jamaica local exams, which she said was a big deal during her time.
"After that I learnt dressmaking with my sister-in-law. People would bring material come give me and I make their dress and shirt. When it comes onto shirt, you call mi name!" McKnight said then laughed out loud.
She said persons would journey to Claris Brook from as far as Montego Bay with material for her to make shirts with her hand-operated machine. When they returned home, others would see her work and come to her.
"That time mi did name Lizzy! But mi nuh Lizzy again because mi can't sew anymore," she said jokingly.
Laing said her aunt was still sewing up to age 99.
McKnight said she never got married, and reflected on that with great humour. more