An 117-year-old Jamaican woman, Violet-Mosse Brown, has recently been named the world’s oldest human, according to the Gerontology Research Group, a network of volunteer researchers into the world’s oldest people.
Brown — fondly called Aunt V — was born March 10, 1900, which is 67 years before Jamaica was founded. Good genes seem to run in the family; Brown’s son is 97.
Raised Christian, she has been a music teacher and church organist for over 80 years. After her husband’s death in 1997, she took over his responsibilities and became a record-keeper for the local cemetery, a job she continued well after her 100th birthday.
At 117, Brown has witnessed a lot of history’s milestones. She remembers when the first cars and planes came to Jamaica, as well as the first electricity and piped water. She has lived through both world wars and the founding of her country. She’s also the last living subject of Queen Victoria.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness congratulated Brown on the achievement. According to a Jamaican local newspaper, there is no secret formula to Brown’s long life.
“Really and truly, when people ask what me eat and drink to live so long, I say to them that I eat everything, except pork and chicken, and I don’t drink rum and them things,” Brown said.
Brown’s granddaughter, Lelieth Palmer, and great-granddaughter, Nicole Palmer Murray, founded the Violet Moss Foundation to help care for the elderly. “She continues to be very hard-working, even now,” Palmer said. Palmer Murray said Brown is happily living in Duanvale, Jamaica — where her family has lived for 200 years — and is doing well.
Sadly, Brown’s son, Harland Fairweather, has reportedly died at their home on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Jamaica at the ripe old age of 97.
According to Elaine McGrowder, one of two family caretakers who were at the home at the time, Harland Fairweather, who had recently been ill but had seemed to recover, awoke saying he felt dizzy and then deteriorated over the course of the morning.
“He had been unwell for some time but we didn’t expect him to go like this,” McGrowder said.
Fairweather lived with his 117-year-old mother, Violet Brown, in the rural northwestern Jamaican community of Duanvale. He was born and raised there but spent much of his life in Britain, the caretaker said. “He was a beautiful man — very, very special,” she said.
Brown became the world’s oldest living person on Saturday after the death of 117-year-old Italian, Emma Morano. Guinness World Records officially confirmed Morano who was also one of the five oldest people in recorded history as the last living person to have been born in the 1800s.
The second and third oldest people are two Japanese women, Nabi Tajima and Chiyo Miyako, who were born, respectively, on 4 August 1900 and 2 May 1901. A Spanish woman, Ana Vela, 115, who was born on 29 October 1901, is the oldest European and the fourth oldest person in the world, according to the GRG.