Centenarian says porridge keeps her going

January 23, 2019
A smiling Iris Haughton enjoys her birthday party.
Iris Haughton (seated, second left) surrounded by eight of her children.

On January 19, Iris May Haughton celebrated her 106th birthday, but it wasn't until the following day that her children threw her a big celebration party, some flying in from the United States and Canada to celebrate the moment with her.

Her bright smile was a sharp contrast to her feeble frame as her children lovingly assisted her to her seat.

In a strong, booming voice, she volunteered her name, even as she shared an insight into her longevity.

"I love porridge and chicken," she said with a huge smile on her face.

Even with her hearing aid, conversation proved a bit difficult and in the end, the CENTRAL STAR enjoyed tales about the centenarian from her offspring.

Born in St Elizabeth, Haughton spent most of her life in Blueberry, Hanover, where she grew up and got married. Her husband has since passed away.

Haughton gave birth to eight children and adopted three others. She is an ardent Seventh-day Adventist.

One of her daughters, Dr Darsie Haughton, said that there are so many qualities that she admires about her mother, the woman who taught her about love.

"Growing up with her, she was very kind, loving and also very strict. She ensured we all went to church and got a good education," she said.

But perhaps the most poignant recollection came from the eldest child, Loretta Walker, who remembered her mother going the extra mile where they were concerned.

Almost eight years older than the brother who follows her, Walker said her mother, thinking she could not have another child, adopted a little girl, just so the two could grow up together.

"She would sit up at nights when we had to study and even though she did not understand what we were doing, she would sit there. Poor thing, sleep would overtake her and she would nod off," shared Walker, adding that one night her mother even fell off the chair.

It was then she said she realised how much she loved them.

One after the other, children Will, Hygiena and Hazel gave recurring testimonies on their mother's commitment and dedication, not just as a mother, but as someone who showed loved to the community.

On Sunday, she got back the love multiplied when a busload of friends came from Hanover to share the moment with her.

And if the family can credit one sure thing for their mother's longevity, it would be her love for God and for people.

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