Vincentian centenarian still going strong
By Nelson A. King
At 102, Vincentian centenarian
Mitchinson “Mitchie” James
says he’s still going strong and
that he’s not going anywhere
“My doctor was surprised
with me. The doctor told me I’m
alright. My heart is strong,” the
East Flatbush, Brooklyn resident
told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive
interview, after visiting his
private physician last week.
“I think I’m alright,” James
added, flanked by his daughter,
Hazel Morris, who lives with him.
“I’m looking forward to my next
birthday. I’ll like to entertain, but
I can’t invite everybody because
of COVID. I’ll have to limit who
“If I change (birthday plans),
I’ll call you,” he told a reporter.
“So, standby for that call.”
James, who was born on Jan.
26, 1918, plans to have a big
birthday bash, when he turns
azel, 65, who works in the
Billing Department at the nearby
Kingsbrook Jewish Medical
Center in East Flatbush, said the
family was planning to have a
huge celebration for his dad in
September but had to scrub it
because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said the celebration,
expected to take place in a park in
Brooklyn, would have attracted
relatives far and wide, including
Canada and St. Vincent and the
“It would have been like a
family reunion — who was going
to bring drinks and food — but
all this (COVID-19) happened,”
Hazel said. “So, this changed.”
In the interim, James said he’s
enjoying life, eating and sleeping
well, and watching his favorite
sports on television, such as boxing
“I went bed last night (Sunday
morning) at 2:00 am; I was looking
at boxing,” James said.
“I get up at 4:00 am, when the
English (cricket) team is playing,”
he added. “I look at CPL
(Caribbean Premier League), and
with the West Indies and Pakistan.
“The West Indies is falling
down,” James, however, continued.
Caribbean L 16 ife, November 6-12, 2020
“But I can’t give up on
them. That’s my country. I love
“I watch kick-boxing,” he said.
“She (Hazel) does not want me
to look at that, but those are the
matches that I like.”
On eating, James said he loves
“pigtail cook up with rice” and
“chicken wings in pelau.” Pelau
is a favorite dish among Vincentians.
Hazel interjected that her dad
“eats good,” adding that he also
loves oxtail and cow heel soup,
and spare ribs.
In addition, she said he loves
his independence, and that
he’s “very meticulous with his
“He writes out his own bills,”
Hazel said. “He’s very self-sufficient.
He’s taking care of me; he
does not want my help.”
But James quickly retorted:
“Don’t bother with her; I always
need her help.”
“I go in the tub, lie down in
the warm water and soak myself
with Epsom salt,” he added. “I try
to do something, you know.”
The son and last child of the
late Weston and Adina James,
James, as a boy, said he grew up
in a “relatively poor and stringent
environment” in South Rivers, a
popular village on the windward
side of mainland St. Vincent.
He credited his sister, Eulyn,
for his upbringing after his
mother’s death,” when he was
only five months old.
James said the elementary
South Rivers Methodist School
in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
together with the Methodist
Church and the community,
provided “love, strength and
hope” in shaping his character.
On Aug. 10, 1942, James
said he enlisted in the Royal
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Police Force (RSVGPF), with the
He was one of six young men
in training at the time. The
force had a complement of 59
policemen, led by British Police
Chief, Jenkins. James served the
RSVGPF for 23 years, reaching
the rank of sergeant.
Vincentian centenarian Mitchinson “Mitchie” James. Velda
Bill de Blasio
Dave A. Chokshi, MD, MSc