MONDAY gone was a very special day in the lives of the Hamiltons of Princes Street, Lodge.
Not only did they celebrate the 100th birthday of the family’s patriarch, Mr Horace Hamilton,
but they also had a very special guest, in the person of Minister of Social Protection, Ms Amna Ally, to help them celebrate this special milestone.
For the minister, the visit was no coincidence, as the day, besides being the second anniversary since the change of political guard here, was also being celebrated the world over as International Day of The Family.
And, she did not go empty-handed. She took him a hamper and a lovely card.
Born on May 15, 1917 at Gibraltar, Berbice in then British Guiana, Mr Hamilton is the lone survivor of six children who all lived past the age of 90. However, he is the only one to live to the ripe old age of 100.
According to family members, “His will to live is puzzling to many; even when they all gave up on him, he kept the hope of being alive to see a century.” This indomitable spirit of his has caused him to earn the undying respect of both family and friends, who often describe him as “a inspiration”.
Mr. Hamilton married Mary Singh Hamilton, and together they had ten children, two of whom were present as the “birthday bash”.
In his quest over the years to earn a living and at the same time keep fit and active, Mr Hamilton, up to the age of 96, grew tomatoes, peanuts and various other vegetables crops in the fertile Rupununi, where he lived for the better part of his life after moving there in the 1950s. And to his credit, that farmstead is still up and running to this day.
What is peculiar, and endearing as well, about Mr Hamilton, however, is that though he enjoyed farming, he also enjoyed writing poetry, and has penned over 50 poems over the last few years.
He also did a piece as his contribution this year to “International Day of the Family”, a snippet of which follows:
“How sad to know of a broken home
harder still, when you’re left alone
it is indeed a grievous thought
creating sorrow and pain in one’s heart.
“Children often go astray
never cease to roam
no one to guide them on their way
because of a broken home.
Lovers, husbands and wives
pay heed and take advice
avoid a broken home
or you would be left alone.”
It’s a poem that resonates with Minister Ally, who, like Mr Hamilton, shares similar views about the family.
“The family,” she said, “is one of the welfare pillars of society, and is essential for the socialisation of children and their individual wellbeing.”
Before she took her leave, she was presented a book of Mr. Hamilton’s favourite poems, along with some of the poems he himself would have penned.