by Emmanuel Joseph
Some people from Hillswick Village in St. Joseph are questioning the naming of a cul-de-sac after Millicent Trotman, a long-standing resident who celebrated her 107th birthday last Sunday.
The relatively newly built road, a project of the St. Joseph Parish Ambassadors, is now known as the Millicent Trotman Close.
However, while all of the residents interviewed welcomed the naming of a road after Trotman, they believed the choice was misplaced.
A 73-year-old woman who, for “many” years has been living along the track where the road is constructed, suggested that naming the pathway after the centenarian did not make sense.
“I have been living here for years and I never seen Millicent through here yet. She doesn’t even live near here. Besides, this is not even a road. Whoever did it, just put down something and the road doesn’t even run to the other road at Cleaver’s Hill. This is a lot of foolishness,” declared the resident who preferred to remain anonymous.
She suggested instead, that the main Hillswick Road where Trotman has been living for all her life, would make more sense being named after her.
The feeling among some people in the district was that, anyone seeing the sign – currently in place – that pointed in the direction of the contentious road, would get the impression that the centenarian “lived through there”.
She noted that most of the folks who lived on the road, were members of Trotman’s Seventh Day Adventist Church assembly but were not invited to last Sunday’s celebration at Trotman’s daughter’s home located on Hillswick Main Road.
Sonia Hackett, another long-standing resident from the newly-named road, also had “no problems” with naming a road after the 107-year-old woman.
She too was critical of the road not being built to join with Cleavers Hill, so that vehicles, especially emergency ones, could drive “right” through, rather than “going all around the road.” She agreed with the idea of honouring Trotman, but did not feel the controversial road was the appropriate choice.
“I know Miss Trotman for years. When she was in her 50s, she used to make sweet bread, coconut bread and give me some. I know when she was making drinks,” recalled Hackett.
She also remembered Trotman “religiously” going to the beach and exercising and picking sea moss and using the drink from it.
The husband and wife couple of Ronald and Eileen Hinkson live a stone’s throw away from Trotman’s daughter Agnes Hinkson and about 100 metres from the centenarian’s home. Both applauded the notion of naming a road after the former domestic worker, but, like others, thought the road selected, made no sense.
Husband Ronald was particularly blunt.
“Name this strip (Hillswick Main Road), after Millicent Trotman,” he insisted.
Hinkson, who is 84 and said he knew Trotman from about age eight, was of the view that naming a cul-de-sac after his respected neighbour, was not a good way to honour her. He suggested that the road should have been built to connect with Cleavers Hill, rather than having high steps at the end to walk up. He noted that the centenarian “was still as strong as an elephant” in her 80s, as she went swimming.
Trotman’s oldest son, Harold, recalled the swimming and exercising exploits of his mother.
Trotman, herself remisced today with a Barbados TODAY team who visited her at her daughter’s home at Hillswick Village.
“I used to catch a lot of small fish. My house is near the sea; and I lived in the sea. From morning to night I was at the sea,” declared the 107-year-old.
“I liked sweet potato and bread fruit, especially bread fruit cou cou,” she beamed.
Her granddaughter Norma Hinkson told this newspaper, her grandmother liked to swim. Hinkson recalled how she used to warm up on the beach and exercise, before going into the water, even in her late 90s.She said that at age 96, she remembered her grandmother climbing a cherry tree picking the fruits.