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Sunday, April 16, 2006

105 year-old has travelled far, wide


Barbados Nation

by WENDY BURKE

TRAVEL IS IN his blood, and at 105 years, Thomas 'Daddy Briggs' Briggs is still very much a globetrotter.

In fact, he travelled on his own up to the age of 99, is now companies one of his children, nieces or nephews.

It is his first trip to Barbados in four years, made to be with his daughter and son-in-law, Pearl and Colin Kirton.

His daughter said there are only two places which she believes he has not visited – Australia and Alaska.

"He has travelled all over God's creation in his lifetime,"she said yesterday from her Newton Terrace residence where her father is staying.

When the SUNDAY SUN team arrived, 'Daddy Briggs', who is on holiday from Houston, Texas, was sitting outside with a leg propped on a lounge chair; he gets some stiffness in the knee.

He wears a hearing aid but apart from that is in good health and high spirits.

He jokingly wanted to know why the SUNDAY SUN all-female team wanted "to turn man" by wearing pants.

"Where I live the old ladies wear a lot of pants too," he said with a chuckle.

Daddy Briggs resides in a seniors' apartment complex where he is the oldest person and always "on the go".

"I like to play billiards. I'll go back and play some pool," he said.

Pearl said he was very good at the game, as he is with bingo and attending auctions.

This senior citizen does not like his activities interrupted, either; he is always on a schedule and is a stickler for time, still getting himself dressed and ready for occasions like church.

His daughter said he has a wheelchair, but he disables the wheels and moves it with his legs because he is very independent.

A former building mechanic who worked on bridges and in factories, he only stopped working at the age of 77 and since then he has been flying.

"I've been to Germany, Denmark and Copenhagen," he said proudly.

Add to this list Jakarta, Norway, all the states of America and many, many others.

His love for travel could be linked to his upbringing.

He was born in St Lucia, grew up in the Virgin Islands, worked, got married and had his five children in Santo Domingo (two of them deceased) and then went on to work in Antigua and St Kitts, before eventually moving to the United States.

Now a citizen there, he received a citation from Governor of Florida Jeb Bush and President George Bush when he reached the age of 103.

He still remembers when he reached 100 and Governor-General Sir Clifford Husbands cameto see him.

"I saw in the paper a man in Jamaica who was 114 sweeping out the yard," he said.

As for his own future, "I would like to get to 108," he said.


Posted by jebratt :: Sunday, April 16, 2006 :: 0 comments

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