The entire community of Tete Morne joined the family of John Baptiste Watt to celebrate his 100th birthday on Friday, June 24th.
Watt is a man with a small frame but he is strong. His youthfulness certainly belies his age.
He still walks to and from church every Sunday and up till February of this year still tended his garden.
His Excellency the President of Dominica, Charles Savarin and Mrs Savarin, the Hon Member of Parliament for the Grand Bay Constituency, Justina Charles, and Hon. Minister for Social Services, Catherine Daniel all joined in the celebrations last Friday.
Watt lived in Guadeloupe for over 30 years and bore no children. He and his wife Lydia Watt have been married for 26 years.
Mrs Watt said, “Thank you for my husband, thank you for the 26 years of marriage. I thank the Lord for everybody and thank you everybody.”
His special day was celebrated with a mass followed by a reception at the Tete Morne Resource Center.
His relative from the neighbouring French island of Guadeloupe also joined in the celebration.
Hon Justina Charles, who is a close friend of the couple, reminded them of Government’s commitment to centenarians. That includes free healthcare, $500 monthly for his care and free cooking gas.
This new centenarian has proven that he is indeed strong. His only ailment now is loss of hearing. However, he has certainly not lost his voice, his sight and his sense of humour.
“It is better for me to lose my hearing than my sight because if I could not see, I would not know who are there with me today,” he said.
He looked around and identified the President, Parish Priest, his Parliamentary Representative, police officers, family members, neighbours and friends.
“I have to thank you all very much for coming,” he stated.
He also credits his long life to the blessing of his godfather and has outlived all his siblings.
“Today I am 100 years old, so who knows if I won’t bat another couple of years,” Watt noted.
Watt received gifts from His Excellency Savarin, the Tete Morne Village Council, Ministry of Social Services and the Member of Parliament for the Grand Bay Constituency.