Jamaican woman becomes oldest person in the world

Chloe Farand
On her 115th birthday, Violet Mosse-Brown received a congratulatory letter from the Queen: Violet Mosse-Brown Foundation

A Jamaican woman who once worked on a sugar plantation has become the oldest person in the world, aged 117.

Violet Mosse-Brown, also known as Aunt V, was born on 10 March 1900 in Duanvale, Trelawny, Jamaica. She attributes her longevity to her “faith in serving God “ and her genes.

She inherited the title after Emma Morano, who was born 1899 and thought to be the last survivor of the 19th century, died at her home in Italy on 15 April.

In the early part of her life, Ms used to cut sugar canes on a plantation.

Later, she was able to buy the plot of land where her family has lived for nearly 200 years. Her own mother lived until she was 96-years-old and her 95-year-old son, Harland Fairweather,still lives with her on the property.

Ms Mosse-Brown went on to grow her own sugarcanes that she used to sell in a nearby market town, according to her biography on the Violet Mosse Foundation website. The foundation works to ensure a quality of life for elderly people around the world.

Despite her great age, Mrs Mosse-Brown still reads without glasses and is able to recite a poem she learned in school.

He biography describes her as having “a great sense of humour” and says she enjoys telling stories about her life in a rural district in Jamaica, at a time when there was no piped water or electricity.

One of her caretakers told the Jamaica Observer her diet consisted of a lot of fruit, but no pork or chicken.

“She likes fish and mutton and sometimes she will have cow foot, but she does not eat pork or chicken," said Jean Lowrie-Chin. “Her other preferences are sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, breadfruit, and fruits, especially oranges and mangoes."

Described as “a community activist”, she became a music teacher and was the choir mistress at her church for 80 years.

She married the cemetery keeper Augustus Gaynor Brown and took over his function after his death in 1997.

Mrs Mosse-Brown was born when Jamaica was still part of the British West Indies, making her “the oldest living Victorian” according to Robert Young, director of the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group.

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