SKNIS Photo 1: Min. of State Hon. Wendy Phipps wishes Centenarian James Pemberton Happy Birthday
Basseterre, St. Kitts, September 07, 2016 (SKNIS): When James Pemberton who resides in Laguerite Village, Basseterre, attained the milestone of 100 years recently, the occasion was marked with a communion service and a visit from the minister and staff of the Department of Social Services and Community Development.
Rev. Damian Hughes of the Emanuel Methodist Church, Sandy Point, led songs of praise and read from Psalm 90 in the King James version of the Bible.
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten, and if by reason of strength, they be fourescore years yet it is their strength labour and sorrow for it is soon cut off and we fly away,” Rev. Hughes said. “Who knoweth the power of thine anger, even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. So teach us to number out days so that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
SKNIS Photo 2: Deputy Director of Social Services, Ann Wigley and Centenarian James Pemberton share a laugh
Mr. Pemberton humbly accepted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper which was followed by greetings from the Senator and Minister of State responsible for Community Development and Social Services.
“On behalf of the government of St. Kitts and Nevis, I came here to just join them in wishing you a very happy birthday,” Minister of State Phipps said. “You have now joined three other males in St. Kitts and Nevis who have reached 100. We have a Mr. Tyson in Nevis who is 100, we also have Mr. Depusoir in Challengers who is 100 and we have Brother Bailey in Saddlers who is 100 and of course we have you Mr. Pemberton in Laguerite who is 100.”
Mr. Pemberton credited his longevity to his worship of the Creator.
“Only trust God, trust Him and go and praise Him. Trust Him, pray to him and ask Him, he say, “Come unto me all that are heavy laden and I will give you rest. So you only have to go to God and ask Him. He know you days. He know what days we got, and He know how to give us.”
SKNIS Photo 3: (From left) Mr. Pemberton’s Homecare Officer Avril Douglas, Min. of State Hon. Wendy Phipps and Senior Citizens Coordinator Garcia Hendrickson of Social Services in Nevis
Mr. Pemberton revealed that in his youth, his mother had informed him that when he was born, there was something that had caused the children born around the same time (August 31, 2016) to die. As such, when he became sick his mother took him to the hospital to be told by the doctor that he would also would die. She took him home and cared for him and he lived to see his 100th birthday.
Senior Citizens Coordinator Garcia Hendrickson along with the Deputy Director Kim Singh of Social Services in Nevis happened to be on hand to join in the celebration.
It was at this point that Mr. Pemberton revealed that he was born in Charlestown, Nevis.
“I have family in Nevis too, you know…. I’m a Nevisian. I were born in Charlestown. I from the third area. I have people all over, over in Bath, Brown Hill, Church Ground,” Mr. Pemberton said.
“On behalf of those people, I want to wish you a happy birthday and whatever is left of your life that you enjoy it and continue to give God thanks,” Mrs. Hendrickson said. “I really admire what you remember including what your mother said and all of that. I am much younger than you and I can’t remember a lot of what my mother said.”
At a later date, Mr. Pemberton will be presented with the Queen’s Award in commemoration of his 100th birthday by Governor General Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton.