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Centenarian 'Mother Mac' credits her faith for longevity

Observer staff reporter

Sunday, November 28, 2021

SPALDING, Clarendon — She credits her longevity and daily blessing to the Lord, spanning 100 years filled with immense spiritual reward as a Christian.

Dorcas McPherson, affectionately called “Mother Mac”, born in Alston (north-west Clarendon) on November 21, 1921, celebrated her 100th birthday recently in the company of her family and church brethren.

“I am giving the Lord thanks for saving me and keeping me until now, but it was very hard in [my younger days]. I am giving the Lord thanks for carrying me through thus far,” she told the Jamaica Observer by telephone last week.

She reflected on her youth and upbringing in poverty with her parents and five siblings.

“It wasn't wonderful. It was rough, but we made it through. We were very poor and we didn't have anything, so we had to work hard,” she said.

“My parents used to cultivate in Santa Hill [a community in Spalding]. It was six of us. I have three brothers and two sisters; only one of them is alive now,” she said in reference to her 94-year-old sister, Evelyn.

In her early 20s she continued her family roots in farming as her livelihood, during which time in the field she met Beris McPherson, a man she grew to love and later marry.

Their union produced six children — Eugene (deceased), Milton, Winnifred, Thelma, Geneva and Etta-Mae.

She said the family made their livelihood mainly from ginger production.

“It was very hard because he [husband] was a cultivator that worked in the field. We got along in our poor stage. After I got married I stayed home to care for the children,” she said.

“The children helped with the ginger. They take it from the field and carry it home. We peel it, dry it and sell it. We got our livelihood from it,” she added.

She has been in the care of her children following the passing of her husband who died at age 89 in 1985.