Miriam Ada Dickenson celebrated her 100th birthday Saturday, 30 December surrounded by her family in the home she loves. It is the house she grew up in, and the one she returned to at age 95. Her family cares for her there.
Mrs. Dickenson has lived a full life that was enriched by a 40-year teaching career - at the Huntley School, the West End Primary and later at Francis Patton. Watching generations of children grow and mature gave her joy. She has also been an active churchwoman and pastor.
Minister of Health the Hon. Kim Wilson JP, MP recently visited Mrs. Dickenson just prior to the big day, and asked her about the keys to longevity. She advocates eating fruit and drinking plenty of water every day. She credits her long life to teaching and also credits talking to God every day.
On December 30, 1971, she married Bishop Norris Dickenson, a widower she'd met through the Beulah Tabernacle in Sandy's. He was the founding pastor of Warwick Holiness Church. After their marriage, she moved to her husband's home in Shelley Bay.
They were together 41 years, before Bishop Dickenson died in 2012 at 100. After his death, she moved back to Sandy's to live with her older sister, Hope, in the house where they grew up. Hope died a year later at age 101.
Mrs. Dickenson still lives in the same house, and attends church at Beulah Tabernacle. At her age, family and ties to the immediate community are vital to her comfort.
Mrs. Dickenson is cared for at home by two nieces and a nephew, the children of her late brother Egbert Bascome. Her two nieces Paula Tucker and Debora Bascome, and nephew, Dr Glen Bascome, are very fond of their aunt. Together, they provide care for her.
Minister Wilson said, "This is an example of how family's loving care and a familiar community setting can make all the difference for a senior. Family members caring for a loved one at home makes that person feel cherished and valued.
"The Ministry promotes ageing at home, and I congratulate this family for making sure Mrs. Dickenson continues to enjoy a life with meaning all through her advanced years. Happy birthday, Mrs. Dickenson. You're an inspiration to us all!"