Machel Montano may believe he is the happiest man alive, but in fact there is one happier.
He is Marcus Augustus Corbin. Corbs, as he is affectionately called, was accorded the honour as friends gathered with him at his French Village, St Peter home today to celebrate his big 100.
“I am glad to reach this standard,” the island’s latest centenarian said as members of his church, those cramped inside, as well as under a tent adjacent his house, sang the birthday song to him.
“I’m glad I reach . . . to see who come to lift me up and give me praise, for I come with Jesus. Who bring me to this stage? Jesus,” he said as he smiled, punctuating it with his favourite quote “in Jesus’ name”.
In his younger years, Corbin was a man who loved to work with his hands. For sometime he kept a shop, but for the majority of his working life, he was involved in agriculture, cutting canes, digging cane holes and digging soft stone. He was predeceased by his wife five years ago. They had one daughter, who resides overseas.
Corbin was said to be in fantastic shape, only suffering slightly from high blood pressure. He is still very active, though he no longer attends service at the French Village Pentecostal House Of Prayer, as the church instead weekly goes to his home to worship with him.
When asked about his recipe for reaching the ripe age of a century, not very talkative, he gave all credit to the Lord.
Before he could attend school, Corbin was in church and had committed himself to God. Up to his early 90s he would “walk over the hill” to attend church and give testimony.
“I can’t tell [others] what to do . . . . Just do all that is good. They got people going to church and it ain’t no help to them,” he said.
Corbin is very independent; he lives alone. And these days you can find him watching his favourite TV show Days Of Our Lives. “That is a good picture!” he exclaimed.
Or one can catch him walking around and doing “what I can do for myself”. That includes cooking a mean meal for himself, sometimes washing, and basically everything else, except cleaning.
This evening the celebration was expected to continue with a specially planned church service for Corbin.