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Feb 24, 2014

Centenarian Jacqueline Gibson meets occasion in style

Jacqueline Gibson

Jacqueline Gibson is celebrating a milestone not shared by many Belizeans. She turned one hundred years old today. While she shows her years in character, it is fair to say that the passage of time has not dulled her exuberance or weakened her spirit. Today Gibson spent her day in the company of family and friends, which is just as it should be. News Five’s Duane Moody dropped by to spend a few moments with this extraordinary woman. Here’s the story.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Meet Jacqueline Gibson….she is a strong, independent woman who is full of life. Today, she was surrounded by friends and family as she celebrated her birthday. One hundred years ago, on February twenty-fourth, 1914, Gibson was born in Belize City. To mark the milestone she wore a tiara, food, drinks and music were flowing and the centenarian was ecstatic as she blew out her birthday candles.

 

Jacqueline Gibson, Centenarian

“Oh wonderful.”

 

Duane Moody

“They are doing a lot of activities for you. Tell us about what it takes to get this far in life?”

 

Jacqueline Gibson

“Well you know. That’s the blessing from the good lord.”

 

Duane Moody

“You are sharing this experience with all your friends and family. Tell us about that.”

 

Jacqueline Gibson

“Oh wonderful. I feel so happy to see lot of good friends around me and to see that they appreciate me so much to be here.”

 

The birthday party was hosted by HelpAge Belize. The organization was established in 1984 and officially registered in 2005 as an N.G.O. to assist elderly men and women across the country. According to newly installed Executive Director, Ivorine Bulwer, it is a celebration of life.

 

Ivorine Bulwer, Executive Director, HelpAge Belize

“It’s a great milestone and along with her we have other persons who are in their nineties and in their late eighties. It is a wonderful occasion; it is a moment for celebration. Celebration of life and at the same time to give recognition to our older persons within the Belizean society. It is also an occasion to recognize the importance of our older persons and their contribution to the nation of Belize.”

 

So what is the secret to living a long and fruitful life? We asked Gibson, who says she will keep that to herself.

 

Duane Moody

“Now everybody wants to know the secret. Give us the secret.”

 

Jacqueline Gibson

“Oh no, no, no, no, no. I won’t give that away.

 

Duane Moody

“Only fi you?”

 

Jacqueline Gibson

“Yes. I think that living to this age and feeling good, I am thankful to god and so. I have to have more.”

 

Duane Moody

“So you wah dance too?”

 

Jacqueline Gibson

“This dah noh like one time yo know; when I use to could punta. Now I can’t punta.”

 

Duane Moody

“But yow ah enjoy yourself nonetheless?”

 

Jacqueline Gibson

“Oh, I certainly will.”

 

HelpAge Belize also took the opportunity to celebrate the birthdays of all the seenagers in attendance who were born in January or February.  Duane Moody for News Five.

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