Age is just a number ...100-year-old fishing net mender credits God for his strength

April 15, 2016
Contributed Photo Aaron Mowatt of Duhaney Pen, St Thomas
Contributed Photo Aaron Mowatt of Duhaney Pen, St Thomas
Contributed Photo Aaron Mowatt of Duhaney Pen, St Thomas

... 100-year-old fishing net mender credits God for his strength

Nothing says age is just a number like a 100-year-old fishing net mender.

Yesterday, THE WEEKEND STAR caught up with Aaron Mowatt of Duhaney Pen, St Thomas, who was busy with what seemed like a regular day on the job.

When asked about his years of experience mending fishing nets, the centenarian gave a hearty laugh.

"I born come see my daddy a catch fish and fix net, so from I was a boy, I been doing this. I usually stay amongst the old people dem who teach me, then I use to go all bout Jamaica go fishin'," he said.

Despite his age, Mowatt, who is known by the entire fishing village as Maas' Aaron, lives alone in a house described by his fellow fisher brethren as deplorable and unsafe.

"Living alone not too bad because sometimes the community members come by and help out wherever and whenever they can. They love me, you know, so they always look out for me. I'm not really hungry. All I want is a little 'tatto (small house)," he said, making reference to his need for a small house.

Friends of Mowatt testified to seeing the old man, who was in his 90s at the time, climb a ladder in an effort to fix the old sheet of zinc, which form the roof of his house.

"Whenever I make a little 10 cents from mending the nets, I buy a bag of cement to patch up the floor, but mi poor bed tired fi move around now because of rain," Mowatt said.

"Every time is a new place leaking. Mi would really want some new zinc," he said.


unfortunate happenings


Although he was giving an account of unfortunate happenings, the warm smile that was plastered on Mowatt's face never wavered.

As if he was reading the minds of those around him Mowatt asked: "Suh because me a 100 you don't expect me to be able to move around?

"You know, I don't take taxi or bus to go where I want to. I walk! I have been depending on my feet ever since I was a boy, so tell me why I would pay taxi fare when I want the money to eat," he asked.

Mowatt told THE WEEKEND STAR that he even makes the 10-kilometre walk from Duhaney Pen to Lysons, where the Princess Margaret Hospital is located, whenever he needs medical attention.

Coupled with this exercise and the intake of much bush tea and food, Maas Aaron credits his longevity to God's grace and mercy.

"A Jesus business keep me 'til now. I have been doing God's work for over 60 years, and even though mi getting much older, I have to bear the 'sufferation' for Him because Him love me from mi small. And if anybody a wonder why mi still able to read my Bible a daytime, walk go so far, fix net, and talk so strong, all I can say is: 'Jesus morning, noon, and night and then when you wake, you repeat'," he said, laughing.

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