Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more
World's oldest person, 117, outlives her eldest son who dies aged 97 at their home in Jamaica
The son of a woman believed to be the oldest person in the world died on Wednesday at age 97 at their home in Jamaica, survived by his 117-year-old mother.
Harold Fairweather, who had recently been ill but had seemed to recover, awoke saying he felt dizzy and then deteriorated over the course of the morning, said Elaine McGrowder, one of two family caretakers who were at the home at the time.
'He had been unwell for some time but we didn't expect him to go like this,' McGrowder said.
Harold Fairweather (left), the eldest son of the world's oldest person, Violet Mosse-Brown (center), passed away in Jamaica on Wednesday, aged 97
Mosse-Brown, also known as Aunt V, was pronounced the oldest living person in the world over the weekend
Fairweather lived with his supercentenarian mother, Violet Mosse-Brown, in the rural northwestern Jamaican community of Duanvale.
He was born and raised there but spent much of his life in Britain, the caretaker said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.
'He was a beautiful man - very, very special,' she said.
Mosse-Brown was born March 10, 1900, making her more than 117 years old. She still lives in the same house she was born, and which has been in her family for 200 years.
She inherited the title of the oldest verifiable person in the world when Emma Morano, who was 117 years and 137 days, died at home in Verbania, Italy on April 15. Her doctor said she passed away 'tranquilly' while she sat in her armchair.
Mosse-Brown, known as Aunt V, is the last living subject of Queen Victoria, as Jamaica was part of the British West Indies when she was born in 1900, according to her foundation's biography.
Violet has great-great-grandchildren and her descendants are in Jamaica, the US, Europe, and Africa
In her 115th birthday, Queen Elizabeth II sent her a congratulatory letter.
She attributes her long life to the good book, saying: 'My faith in serving God, and believing strongly in the teaching of the bible.'
Genetics may have something to do with it too: her parents both lived to 96 years old, according to the Jamaica Observer.
Mosse-Brown 'worked as a plantation worker cutting cane for her masters, also working as a maid in their homes' says her granddaughter Leleith Palmer.
Eventually, she was able to buy property to grow her own sugarcane and would walk two days from Duanvale to the town where she could sell it. She would carry the cane on the back of a donkey or on her head.
The entrepreneur also opened the only bread shop in town, and was a music teacher and seamstress and highly involved in her local Methodist Church. She also clearly remembers seeing her first plane and car.
Violet reads a card on April 16 at hre home in Duanevale, Jamaica
A caretaker says that Violet likes fish and mutton and sometimes eats a cow foot but doesn't eat pork or chicken
As for diet, a caretaker told the Jamaica Observer last year: 'She likes fish and mutton and sometimes she will have cow foot, but she does not eat pork or chicken.' She also likes sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, breadfruit, and fruits, especially oranges and mangoes.
The last oldest living person, Emma Morano, famously eschewed most fruits and veggies in favor of biscuits and had attributed her longevity to three eggs a day, two of them eaten raw. Even when doctors told her this wasn't a good idea, she kept it up her whole life.
Although Mosse-Brown enjoys her Bible, she isn't above appreciating the poetry of the rakish Lord Byron, and can recite The Vision of Belshazzar from memory.
She was married to cemetery keeper Augustus Gaynor Brown until he died. They had six children. She is a great-great-grandmother and has descendants in Jamaica, the United States, Europe and Africa, according to IAmJamaican.
Violet inherited the oldest person title when Emma Morano (above) died at home in Italy on Saturday at age 117 years and 137 days
There may be something special about the air in this particular part of Jamaica, as the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, was born in the same parish of Trelawny.
Mosse-Brown was named oldest woman by The Gerontology Research Group, which keeps a verified list of those over 110. But the Guinness Book of World Records says it is still researching a 'number of candidates,' according to the New York Daily News.
There are estimated to be 300 to 450 living supercentenarians in the world, though only 50 of those cases are known to the group and verified. The vast majority are women.
The next oldest person on the list is Nabi Tajima, who is 116 years and 256 days old.
VIOLET MOSSE BROWN, THE OLDEST WOMAN ALIVE, HAS NO ILLNESSES. (PHOTO CREDIT: JAMAICA GLEANER)
Even after living 117 years, Jamaican Violet Mosse Brown is as fit as a horse, witty, humble and still hardworking.
Not once in her quiet life did she imagine landing in the world’s history books as the oldest woman, but she is overjoyed at having done so.
“I feel good, I feel happy to be the oldest person (in the world),” Mosse Brown, affectionately called Aunt V, told the Jamaica Observer newspaper.
Mosse Brown, who was born on March 10, 1900, entered the pages of history as the oldest person on Earth last Saturday, after the passing of the previous oldest, Italian Emma Morano, who was born on November 29, 1899.
“I did not feel I would become the oldest person. I feel I would pass long ago. Thank God for whatever He has given to me,” declared Mosse Brown, who remarkably suffers from no ailment.
Longevity seemingly runs in her genes. According to the Jamaica Observer, both her parents lived to 96 years old and her oldest son, Harold Fairweather, turned 97 on Saturday.
Mosse Brown jokes that she is healthier than Harold and her other four children.
“I had six children; one died, five alive, but them all sick. Them sick more than me,” she said with a laugh.
The supercentenarian, who still eats everything except chicken and pork, credits her long life to her deep faith in God and hard work.
She worked as a cane farmers and also operated the only bread shop in her community. Mosse Brown was also a music teacher and seamstress.
Her hard work was undergirded by her deep faith in God. At 13, she was baptized as a member of the Baptist church, serving in virtually every capacity.
“I spent all my time in the church – from a child right up,” she said.
Meanwhile, Jamaicans have been celebrating Mosse Brown’s achievement.
She has emerged a star in her Duanvale community, just a stone’s throw away from the hometown of track legend Usain Bolt.
“Trust me, we feel proud. That lady is great. She is good. She mek wi feel proud in the district as the oldest person in the world come from Duanvale here,” resident Renford Weir told the Jamaica Observer.