Alpha centenarian honoured for work
She’s a woman of few words nowadays, but 103-year-old Carmen Elaine Robertson Brown has left fond memories at her alma mater, the Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha), that her work and worth take some time telling.
Robertson Brown, who does not have lifestyle diseases like hypertension or diabetes, is grateful for the simple things in life: walking, seeing, eating, communicating.
She was honoured last Thursday at the convent in Kingston for her excellence and faithful stewardship, at the Convent of Mercy Academy (Alpha), which she attended and where she taught for a brief period.
Her daughter, Jeanie Moss-Solomon, said Brown’s mental acuity has slowed since she turned 100.
She described her mother as the “root of our family and our faith, and from whom, by her life of selflessness and simplicity, we first learnt love of God, love of family, love of neighbour, love of country.
“She really was a homemaker and a housewife, very active in raising her children,” Moss-Solomon said in a Gleaner interview.
A mother to her four daughters, Robertson Brown was a former secretary at Holy Childhood High School and worked at the Jamaica Association for the Deaf.
Moss-Solomon described her mom as a strong, resourceful person who was very positive in her perspectives and was a big problem solver.
“I think that her long life is due to the fact that she doesn’t have any bad feelings towards anyone. She is very pure of heart, very sincere, and she doesn’t stand on ceremony. She’s just a plain, simple person who puts a lot of importance on God and family,” Moss-Solomon said.
Up to when she just became a centenarian three years ago, Robertson Brown was reportedly very active, playing Soduku and doing crossword puzzles and exercising regularly.
Robertson Brown, who grew up on South Camp Road, adjacent to Sabina Park and across from Alpha, attended daily Mass, was not a Roman Catholic, at Holy Trinity Cathedral, where she later got married.
Her husband died in 1977 at 57 years of age.
The Catholic sisters were instrumental in fostering her faith in Catholicism, a legacy she passed on to her four daughters, who are also graduates of Alpha.
Robertson Brown taught at Alpha for some time after graduating in 1936. Her daughter, Jeanie, followed in her footsteps and gave time to the school as well as a teacher.
Marcia Thwaites, representative of the Associates of Mercy, which arranged for Thursday’s honour, told The Gleaner that the post-Mother’s Day event recognised a woman who was committed to the Alpha community.
“One of our main critical concerns of the mercies is to honour women and children, and Mrs Brown is a fine example of an Alpha old girl,” Thwaites said.