James Springer is the island’s latest centenarian.
Today, he was celebrated by family, friends and loved ones at his son’s home in Harmony Circle, the Belle, St Michael, in fine style.
Fully alert and smiling from ear to ear at times, Springer basked in all the festivities planned for him, especially the visit from Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave.
James said he was “happy” to have received the visit.
The father of six toasted wine and chatted with the head of state.
Speaking on behalf of the family, daughter Cicely Scott said her father, who has enjoyed considerably good health, still keeps abreast of current affairs by watching television and reading the daily paper, adding that his favourite news anchor was the CBC’s Lisa Broome.
She described her father, who worked as a customs guard for 28 years, as a very hard worker who did his best to provide for his family.
“I remember him coming home after working the night shift and proceeding to cut the canes he had on his land at the time, and caring for his animals. There are three 20-foot wells on his property and he dug them all with the help of a drill, a bucket and a rope,” she said.
Springer retired from his job in 1976 and took up gardening and taking care of his property.
Scott said her father was also a strict disciplinarian and was never one to joke around much.
“While we were growing up, he . . . never wasted any time in using his three-inch belt to remind us of his policies. He has mellowed somewhat in his latter days. The family is now able to sit with him and make jokes about his past and I dare say, that was not the case when we were growing up as he never entertained that kind of rapport,” she added.
Springer was married to his wife Esme for over 71 years. She died on March 19, 2013. He has four grandchildren and four great grands.