104 year old remembers ‘Busta’

December 19, 2017
Nora Miller-Welsh
Alexander Bustamante

At 104 years of age, Nora Miller-Welsh of Blenheim, Hanover, is old enough to remember the days when national hero, Sir Alexander Bustamante was a robust trade union leader and politician.

Miller-Welsh, who was born on March 28, 1914, still has excellent memory and can readily recall, with great details, stories dating back several decades, to include the period when Bustamante became the founder of the Jamaica Labour Party and later Jamaica's first prime minister.

"I know Bustamante ... to be truthful, I can't recall much of him when he was here (in Blenheim), said Miller-Welsh, who was born in the community some 30 years after Bustamante.

The soft-spoken centenarian, despite being a woman of few words, was able to speak about her childhood and early adult years in Blenheim, where she worked as a baker and vendor after leaving school.

"It was pleasant in Blenheim. Life was peaceable," said Miller-Welsh. "I went to school in Cacoon (a neighbouring community), and later I did a little baking.  I also made ginger beer and went around to sell it."

Nowadays Miller-Welsh is mostly at her home, which is perched on a slope overlooking the Blenheim community square. She acknowledged that the district and its people have changed significantly from former years.

"To tell the truth, the community is not so bad now, but at the same time, it is not so wonderful with the young people that are here now," said a reflective Miller-Welsh. "A whole lot of young people are not around to do those kinds of business like what I used to do.”


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