At 101 years, Rupert Springer is still going strong.
And in commemoration of his birthday yesterday, the patriarch of the Springer family of Cave Hill Drive, St Lucy was treated by five of his eight children to a sumptuous lunch at the Brown Sugar Restaurant, Aquatic Gap, St Michael.
Based on the amount of food he had stacked up on his plate, it was evident that Springer still has a healthy appetite.
In fact, eating “regular ground food” was one of the reasons he gave today for his longevity.
Relatives say his only complaint is a bit of arthritis in his legs, which affects his mobility from time to time.
Today was however not one of those days when his legs would fail him, as Springer walked unaided from the car park to the dining room, which were about 100 metres apart.
The senior Barbadian is also blessed with good eyesight and hearing and was able to respond to Barbados TODAY’s questions without any prompting from his five children who sat around him at the table. Missing were his two children who reside overseas and one who was reportedly ill.
In their absence, Springer proved that his memory was still quite sharp. In fact, it was so good that he was able to say that he was born in 1916 and that he had turned 101-years-old today.
Springer also recalled growing up in the country, in an area they called ‘Graveyard’, but which for him was one of the most peaceful places anyone could spend their boyhood days.
And though he did not attend secondary school, Springer, who started out at St Clement’s Elementary Boys School and continued up to Third Standard, developed an appreciation from very early for the value of hard work.
“I was a mason, and a carpenter but my main source of income came from well digging. I worked on cane trucks, worked in agriculture, raised cows and pigs, because I was the father of eight children. Later in life I drove a van and kept a shop to get along,” the retired tradesman recalled.
From early in life Springer also had a strong appreciation for God, but it was not until 1970 when he joined the New Testament Church of God and became a full fledged Christian.
“I know the evil and the good life. Day by day, I read Psalm 23,” he said, before confessing that, “I did not expect to live this long and enjoy relatively good health.”