Wed | Feb 8, 2023

Centenarian revelling still in birthday card from Queen

Published:Friday | September 9, 2022 | 12:12 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer
Julia Rose-Campbell, a centenarian of Hayes, Clarendon, shares a laugh with her 75-year-old daughter Marelyn Shaw as they reflect on happy memories. Rose-Campbell is 105. Nathaniel Stewart/Photographer
Julia Rose-Campbell, a centenarian of Hayes, Clarendon, shares a laugh with her 75-year-old daughter Marelyn Shaw as they reflect on happy memories. Rose-Campbell is 105. Nathaniel Stewart/Photographer

Clarendon centenarian Julia Rose-Campbell burst into tears on Thursday upon learning that the Queen had passed away, emphasised her undying love for the monarch.

Now 105 years old, Rose-Campbell recalls receiving a special card from Queen Elizabeth on reaching her milestone 100th birthday in 2017.

“I love her very much. I love her to my heart,” Rose-Campbell said of the late monarch as she spoke with The Gleaner from her home in Savannah district in Hayes, Clarendon.

The 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and Jamaica’s head of State, passed away on Thursday after serving for 70 years on the throne.

Rose-Campbell, who recalled how happy she felt to be recognised by the Queen, had not heard of the monarch’s passing before The Gleaner spoke with her.

“I feel sad and sick hearing that she passed,” she said as the tears began streaming down her face.

The centenarian said that the card, which has been misplaced, bears a “lovely” image of the Queen. She plans to give her daughter the task of finding the special memento.

Rose-Campbell credits good mental health to the longevity of her years, stating that happiness, contentment, and God’s grace have sustained her.

Her youngest child, Marelyn Shaw, age 75, lauded her as a family-oriented woman whose love and compassion goes beyond her own kin.

“There wasn’t much work to do when she was younger, so she was a cane farmer and she didn’t have much for herself, but she made sure everybody had. She shared whatever she had with everybody,” Shaw told The Gleaner.

Shaw said that an endearing quality she finds most commendable in her mother is her humanitarian spirit and how she shows respect to everyone, regardless of class or social status.

At 105, Rose-Campbell is able to walk – although with the aid of a walker – as well as see, speak and hear very well.

Shaw said that she cherishes the moments she spends with her mother, who celebrated her birthday on April 18.

“Now I feel like I’m the mommy and she’s the baby. I am very protective of her. I do everything to keep her safe, in good health and in good shape,” said Shaw.

When quizzed on the most valuable lesson she has learned from her mother, Shaw said: “She always said, ‘Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the people you can, for as long as you can’.”

olivia.brown@gleanerjm.com