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Jan 8, 2003

Family celebrates matriarch’s 100th birthday

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She may not be up to blowing out a hundred candles…but hey, how many of us are? And while we missed the big party in the holiday rush, today Jacqueline Woods joined a proud family to wish one of the nation’s oldest citizens a very happy belated birthday.

Mirian Austin, Daughter

“She believes in God and she always try to keep us together; me, her kids, grandkids and everybody she meets. She is always talking about God.”

Jacqueline Woods

“So you read the bible a lot?”

Sophia Jones, 100 years old

“I read it when I could see good. When I can manage I read.”

Christina Austin?Valere, Granddaughter

“People don’t live to be a hundred everyday, so I said it’s my grandmother, I am definitely coming. And so that is part of why we are here. So that is a phenomenon to live to be one hundred years old.”

Samuel Jones, Son

“My mother never used a bad word yet, what we call a bad word never, never, never yet. When anybody did her anything and she got vexed, only one thing she says, leave them to God or leave them to the four corners of the world.”

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

The family of Sophia Jones remembering what it was like growing up with their mother and grandmother, who celebrated her one hundredth birthday on December twenty-eighth. Jones, who has five children, ages sixty-two to seventy-six, has been widowed twice, when successive husbands died in 1953 and 1977. Since then, she lived single life, and in 1999, after she was no longer able to take care of herself, the family moved her into the Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly. Sophia’s only daughter, sixty-eight year old Mirian Austin, lives in the United States, but every year returns home to spend time with mom and brothers. So does granddaughter Christina Austin-Valere.

Christina Austin-Valere

“I know that the people here, the attendants they really do a lot in terms of keeping her clean. I mean you see her hair nicely combed, she can’t do that herself anymore, so they do that kind of stuff. I think those are the things that are adding the additional time for her.”

Mirian Austin

“I am happy and thank God that he took care of her this long that we can have her with us still. I am happy.”

Samuel Jones

“Everybody that she knows, she still knows and you can ask her about things long ago and she would actually rehearse it and tell you what it is, what that thing was or how it went. And she has many friends, all friends, my mother does not have an enemy I could tell you that. Not an enemy my mother has. She does not make a dispute with no one. To every place she went, she was always nice.”

The family says Jones does not suffer from any major illness, but due to her age, she has difficulty speaking, hearing or seeing well. None of this has managed to diminish her bright smile and good spirits. Jacqueline Woods for News 5.

In addition to her five children, Sophia Jones also has sixteen grandchildren and fourteen great grand children.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Family celebrates matriarch’s 100th birthday”

  1. Christina Austin-Valere says:

    This historical piece was found by my daughter, Stephanie, as she surfed the net. What a beautiful reminder of this time. Since then, my parents, Charles and Miriam, have died but I will alway remember this wonderful occasion on which we celebrated my grandmother’s birthday and how nice it was that Ms. Jacqueline Woods of Channel 5 News was there to help us tell the world about this great woman of God.

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