[Guyana Genealogical and Biographical Society] Johanna Blackman, 103 years old, living in Georgetown .
Centenarian living in Georgetown – willing to go to church but not able to walk the distance –DIM MEMORIES OF THE PAST.
There is living in Georgetown, a Centenarian in the person of Mrs. Johanna Blackman who is 103 years old.
“Mother” Blackman, as she is familiarly called was born on January 19, 1835, and now lives at 171 Curtis Street, Albuoystown, with her grandson, Mr. Eustace Blackman, a carpenter, and his wife.
When interviewed during the past week by a Daily Argosy representative “Mother” Blackman said that the only things she could remember clearly were that she was born about the same time as a daughter of the late queen Victoria and the great cholera epidemic, which swept this colony.
Asked about emancipation she said all she could recall was that as a child, she heard “heard the gun fire,” and her mother said slavery was abolished.
“That was a long time ago,” Mother Blackman said, “but what actually happened then I cannot say.”
Mother Blackman has lost all but two of her teeth. Her eyes are dim; her skin is parched and wrinkled. She is rather reticent in the presence of strangers, but if she is set at ease, she becomes rather “chatty.”
“she is very much like a child now,” her grandson remarked, “and sometimes in order to get her to talk about ‘old times’, we have to be tactful and adopt the children’s method of ‘make-believe’, her memory comes and goes, but she is a pleasant old soul and very good company to us”.
When her grandson made these remarks, Mother Blackman smiled and asked whether any of them thought they would live to her age. They replied, “No”
She asked “why not?”
In reply to a question about her health, Mother Blackman said: “I don’t feel so well, I have a fever and all over my body is aching me.”
HER MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE
The sun was hot at that time, and Mrs. Blackman explained that it was her usual complaint. She had to be cared for like a child.
Mother Blackman stated that she was engaged most of her life as an agricultural labourer and also for some time as a domestic servant with Mrs. Vyfhuis and Miss Baskett, two former principals of the Bishops High School. She draws a small allowance from the Authorities of this Institution.
Her marriage certificate shows that her maiden name was Luke and that she was married to Mr. Joseph Blackman on September 26, 1878 at St. Agnes’s Anglican Church, Grove Village, East Bank, Demerara, the Rev. C. B. Dame being the Minister. At the time of the marriage, both parties were of “full age” and living at Craig, East Bank.
Mother Blackman cannot remember when her husband died. As far as she can recollect she has had about three or four children, one of whom, a son, she believes is alive and in Berbice. She cannot see well enough to thread a needle, though she would like to do some sewing. Her sight is good enough however, to enable her to move about the house and sometimes about the yard. She is willing to go to Church but not able to walk the distance.
As the Daily Argosy representative was leaving, Mother Blackman said: “I don’t think I will live many more years; I am going.”
[Source: Centenarian living in Georgetown - The Daily Argosy - Sunday, September 4th 1938: page 9]
Posted by M'lilwana to Guyana Genealogical and Biographical Society at 2/28/2006 08:55:00 AM