Centenarian credits long life to 'living clean'

May 21, 2018
Raymond Donaldson talks about how life was back in the pre-Independence days.
Raymond Donaldson sits with his daughters Ann-Marie Reynolds (left) and Angeleta Beaulac.
An elated Donaldson sits with members of his extended family.

Despite turning 100 years old last Thursday, Raymond 'Mas Charlie' Donaldson says the real celebrations will take place next year when he reaches 101.

Donaldson reasoned that when he has lived another 365 days, he would truly be a centenarian.

"I pray to my God and ask him for a favour to grant me life to see 100 years old, not 100th birthday. One hundred years old would be 2019, May 17, and I am sure he will grant me it, and that is the day I would like to spend a birthday and say that I am 100 years old," he told THE STAR.

And Donaldson, who worked as a carpenter until six years ago when he developed prostate problems, says that he wants to remain healthy so that he can ring in his next birthday in style.

"I pray that I can spend the whole year this year very, very good, without sickness or disaster," said the man who has 12 children, two of whom passed away before him.

A member of the Anglican denomination, who still attends church every Sunday, Donaldson was quick to point out that living by Ephesians chapter six is the reason that he is able to celebrate 100 birthdays.

"I give God thanks because a nuh many people reach this ... I live clean, I live good, and I do what the Lord say to do," he said. "I live free, I never fight. I never beg nuhbody nutten. I never owe nobody nutten, I neva trust nutten from nobody. I live a life independently."

Throughout the years, Donaldson, who was a part of the 1938 labour strikes, said that he had seen many good and bad times.

And while he said he did not like to talk about the bad times, he felt life was better before Jamaica gained Independence.

"I live in colonial days and Independence didn't come 'til 1962. But I live most of my good life in colonial days. It was bad, it was cheap. It was everything, but I think you had better living than in the political days," he shared.

Donaldson, who became a carpenter at age 18, said that he was passionate about working, so much so that when he stopped in 2012, persons came to his house to ask him to work for them.

"The doctor forbid me to run, lift weight, turn towel, climb ladder, go up high step, and I tek his advice and I don't do none because if I am doing an upstairs, remember, I have to go up there to see that it do good," he said.

When it comes to food, Donaldson said he eats everything except 'tun' cornmeal and sweet cassava.

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