Bernard Ashley from Union district in Lluidas Vale, St. Catherine, turned 103 years old today and is eager for his four sisters to join his centenarian club.
“I feel happy,” he told The Beacon this morning while attributing his longevity to his unflinching belief in his maker.
“I walk and talk with Him all the times of my life,” Mr. Ashley emphasized.
He is the eldest of five surviving siblings who, in their family circle, are referred to as The Royal Five. The other four are:
- Maudlin Ashley-Mason who will turn 100 in May, and who lives in the United States
- Cleopatra Mighty, 97, resides in Jamaica
- Alice Ashley-Williamson, who turned 93 on Sunday (February 9), lives in Jamaica
- Getnella Rhule, 90, lives in England
The Royal Five had their latest reunion in Lluidas Vale on December 22 last year.
Their sixth sibling, Percival Ashley, passed away years ago.
It is not surprising that all members of The Royal Five have lived beyond age 90.
Their mother, Lillian Ashley, died when she was 99 years old.
The centenarian, Mr. Ashley, was born and raised in the farming community of Lluidas Vale.
He worked at Worthy Park Sugar Estate before becoming a small sugarcane farmer, occupying property in an area of Lluidas Vale called Hog Pond or Providence.
Mr. Ashley was not only good at farming. He is being touted as a great father to his eight children – two of whom have died.
The youngest of them, Horace Ashley, told The Beacon that his father is a man of benevolence. “When it comes on to loving and giving – a him dat… He always takes care of his youths.”
The centenarian, who has been bedridden for about four years, said he has ‘no trouble’ being under the care of his family, especially his daughter-in-law Beverly Rose-Ashley, better known as Carla.
“Sometimes it is not easy; it is very hard. But with God all things are possible,” the main caregiver posited, adding that she has been cooking for her father-in-law long before he became bedridden.
“He is now like my baby; looking after him is no problem. The thing I like with him is that he always encourage me; he always talk to me about God,” Mrs. Rose-Ashley further said.
Her father-in-law has been a Christian umpteen years now, and is never too busy to tell someone about his maker.
He ultimately would like to be remembered as a devout man of God.
By Horace Mills, Journalist
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