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JIS News

Elsie Ann Flowers is a very proud, strong, and alert centenarian, who says that she is living one day at a time.
Mrs. Flowers, who celebrated her 100th birthday on March 15, says God has blessed her with the health and strength to enable her to surpass her biblical allotment of three scores and ten.
“I am thankful to God because he preserved my life that I could reach to the age of 100 years and can say ‘thank God, I live to see another year’. When we live to see that age it is a good thing, really a good thing,” Mrs. Flowers tells JIS News at her home in Morris District, Hanover.
Born on March 15,1906 in Salt Spring, Hanover to parents Mr. and Mrs. Alphaeus Gibson, Mrs. Flowers is the second of four siblings, who are all deceased. She attended the Salt Spring Baptist Church School and Salt Spring Elementary in her childhood years and made a living in dressmaking for a number of years before turning to farming and higglering. She was a general office attendant up until her retirement a few years ago.
Mrs. Flowers has fond memories about her childhood days and her years at Salt Spring Elementary. “I remember teacher Anderson.school was a pleasure for me to go because when you go to school, you get learning skills,” she says.
She also spoke of her father, whom she says, was loving but very strict. “He did not beat us but when he speak one word to you that was quite enough, so you did not have to find yourself out of order”, she recalls.
For a short spell, Mrs. Flowers lived in Colon, Costa Rica, before returning to Jamaica where she met Henley Flowers and was married in 1934. The couple had six children (two boys and four girls).
After the death of her husband, Mrs. Flowers worked hard to sustain her children, with jobs often taking her away from home for the better part of a week.
She is described by her daughter, Rosamond Brown, as a very independent and industrious person, who loves her family. “We all respect and love her for her hardworking attitude and dedication to her family. She has set a fine example for us all to put God first and to work hard to achieve our goals,” Mrs. Brown tells JIS News.
Mrs. Flowers grew up in the church and still finds pleasure attending services at St. Paul’s United in Montego Bay on Sundays. Her daughter remembers that her mother never missed a church service and when she would return home after spending a week away working, she would be dressed for church.
“My mother never missed a church service at St. Paul’s United Church, in fact, she was never late for service as she always wanted to be the first one in church in order that she could welcome everyone else,” Mrs. Brown tells JIS News.
In fact, her church family at St. Paul’s United held a special ceremony to celebrate the milestone and Mrs. Flowers was pleasantly surprised when Custos of St. James, Clarence Nelson, conveyed to her, Her Majesty the Queen’s message of congratulations and best wishes on her special day.
Other leaders of the church also paid a tribute to the centenarian, who was described as a faithful and committed member of that congregation for more than 40 years.
“Jesus is my saviour and I go to church often to learn about Jesus”, says Mrs. Flowers. “I love Jesus and the church,” she adds.