Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 24, 2022 (SKNIS): Jane Hickson, the most recent centenarian in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, was celebrated for her ten decades of life on her birthday on Monday, May 23, at the Cardin Home.
Miss Hickson was paid a special visit by officials from the Government, in particular, the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs.
“Miss Hickson, today I congratulate you, I salute you and I wish you a most blessed 100 birthday. Today, we give thanks for her life, we are grateful for her and at the same time we give thanks for those persons within our communities who are charged with the responsibility of caring for our leaders because it is not an easy job,” said the Honourable Senator Wendy Phipps, who delivered remarks on behalf of the Minister of Social Development and Gender Affairs, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton. “For those persons who are charged with the care of our seniors, we have to also pay attention to them because the stresses that come with a job like this could be overwhelming.”
Senator Phipps said that although she has had the opportunity to attend several celebrations over the years, they are all uniquely different.
“I have been to several of these ceremonies over the last six or seven years and every one of them is special, every one of them is unique and it reminds us of how very fortunate we are to be able to honour our elders and to look at how St. Kitts and Nevis would have advanced in terms of our human development because, in the 1940s, 50s and before, living to 100 was not something that was very common because public health advances were not what they are today,” said Minister Phipps.
Minister Phipps noted that St. Kitts and Nevis has advanced over the years with respect to the aging population.
“St. Kitts and Nevis has made quite a number of advances in terms of the role of healthy aging on our populations and quite a bit of work has gone into the National Aging Policy which we look forward to having full activation for,” she said. “But at the same time, albeit that we are not quite there yet in terms of the full buildout of that programme, what we have been able to achieve in St. Kitts and Nevis through healthcare, to people having more responsibility for elders and having more of an extended care approach even with the domestic home setting, is a situation where we can truly say that our human development has advanced much farther than it used to be because how we take care of our elders is very much an indication of how we will take care of the future.”
Currently, there are eleven (11) nationals who are centenarians, eight (8) Kittitians and three (3) Nevisians. Those from St. Kitts who have surpassed 100 years are Ruby Thomas, 101 and Bernice Sebastian (residing in the US), 109; George David, Agnes Kelsick, Angeline Revan, Adolphus Stevens, Esther Harris and Jane Hickson are 100 years old. Mary Brown, Elizer Jeffers and Gwendolyn Stapleton Clarke from Nevis are also 100 years old.