The oldest father in St Lucy, one hundred and six year old Rupert Sydney Springer, is a man known for valour, courage and strength.
Member of Parliament for St Lucy Peter Phillips who used such words to describe Springer, recalled the work of the father of eight who was a rock blaster in the local Cave Hill, St Lucy Community.
During a special presentation to the community legend yesterday, Phillips hailed the centenarian who turned 100 back in 2016. “I say hail the man, a man of valour, a man of courage, a builder of our parish and a builder of Barbados…Mr Springer has been a stalwart of our community,” he said of the father of four girls and four boys.
Springer back in the day drove a van where he transported school children to and from school and Phillips said that even now such selfless acts are not seen.
“You do not get persons of this calibre perhaps like this possibly in a day and age like today but he has made his contributions to society, he has made his contributions to Barbados, St Lucy, the community, in the church – wherever he went he did well,” Phillips said.
Phillips added that he believes the centenarian will live for a while longer. “He has lived to see 106 years, the oldest gentleman in St Lucy at this point in time and I don’t believe there is anyone who will surpass him because I believe he may have a couple more years if God lends him to us for a few more years,” he said.
Springer is alive and aware to receive his accolades, and the representative for St Lucy said that this was very important.
“I thought it important to give him the roses while he is alive, to give him the flowers while he is alive so that he can see and enjoy and so he can appreciate [these gifts] because this is a way of us saying thank you for the contributions you have made to St Lucy and to the island,” he added.
Coleen Springer, who is one of the daughters caring for her dad, said her father was deserving of every blessing he has now because of his hard work.
“We are making him as happy as we can because he deserves it and deserves it fittingly. He was and is a good father, grandfather, father-in-law and everything that you could think about.
“He loves his family and anything anyone does for him he is very grateful,” she said of her dad. Colleen recalled that her father was also a shopkeeper, strict disciplinarian and even agriculturalist.
Her old man, she said, loved planting and knew everything there was to know about mother earth. “He loved the land. He is very disturbed when he passes to see land in chaos. He was an agriculturalist – I think the best that was never sworn in to Government House, he knows when to plant, when to reap and when not to reap – he is an allrounder par excellence,”
The outspoken daughter said her dad did everything just to care for his family including working as a barber and freighter. (MR)