Dr Hyacinth Blake, Director of the Division of Ageing, and the children of Gibbs Kerr thank God for allowing him to reach his significant milestone. (Image courtesy Ministry of Social Development and Family Services)

COVID-19 may have dampened many celebrations locally and worldwide, but it did not damper the spirit of Mr Gibbs Kerr, who celebrates his 100th birthday on December 24th, 2021. To celebrate the milestone, his children hosted a small celebration at his Wallenvale Road, Guaico, Sangre Grande home.

Joining the family to mark this milestone was the Director of the Division of Ageing, Dr Hyacinth Blake, who asked Mr. Kerr for his advice on boosting longevity.

“Sell your rights for peace,” was the bit of wisdom Mr Kerr shared with Dr Blake.

Gibbs Kerr said he is very happy to reach this significant lifetime milestone, stating that it is truly an honour.  He strongly prides himself on his grandmother’s favourite saying, “How you make your bed so you lie on it.”

Mr Kerr recounts fond memories of his life during the celebration. (Image courtesy Ministry of Social Development and Family Services)

The centenarian recounted fond memories of working with the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) and the Guardian Newspaper. Gibbs Kerr was born in Moriah, Tobago, and landed his first job as a bus conductor with the Arima Bus Company. In 1951, he was promoted to the post of Dispatcher and then became Acting Supervisor of the PTSC. Further to this, he became Traffic Supervisor until he retired in 1981.

Dr Blake thanked Mr. Kerr for not only his hospitality, but also his service to the community in which he resides. She noted that his efforts would continue to go a long way in establishing the kind of caring and nurturing environment to which the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services is actively subscribed.

“You are so blessed to live to see one hundred,” said Dr Blake, who later on presented Mr. Kerr with a Certificate of Honour and Achievement along with other items, on behalf of the Government and the Ministry’s Division of Ageing.

Dr Hyacinth Blake, Director of the Division of Ageing presents Gibbs Kerr with a Certificate of Honour and Achievement and other items, on behalf of the Government and the Ministry’s Division of Ageing. (Image courtesy Ministry of Social Development and Family Services)

Minister of Social Development and Family Services, Senator Donna Cox sent her regards to Mr. Kerr.  Minister Cox stated that recognition of centenarians also serves as a demonstration of the Ministry’s commitment to promoting and preserving the well-being of older persons who are resourceful members of our society.

The Minister also noted that the Ministry recently launched its National Centenarian Programme, which will seek to, among other things, recognize the contributions and achievements of older persons who have attained the graceful age of 100 years. 

The Ministry is encouraging members of the public to contact the Division of Ageing to inform of similar occasions, or to log on to the Ministry’s website at www.social.gov.tt to register centenarians.  Registration forms are also available at the Ministry’s 11 Social Welfare Offices, nationwide.