Centenarian says pleasant wife contributed to long life

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ON April 6 O’Neil McKenzie turned 100, joining the prestigious group of approximately 300,000 centenarians living worldwide.

His secret to long life is simple — he values peace of mind and he honours his wife.

“I feel good; I feel like a lion. I don’t feel like a hundred. A man who feels like a hundred is like a man going to the grave. To live long you have to have peace of mind and peace in the home. Both are essential so I have to lift my hat to my wife, Hyacinth. I think I am going to live longer, as I don’t have any trouble. When you have peace of mind and peace in the home you will live as long as God wants you to be,” McKenzie told the Jamaica Observer North & East two Sundays ago during his birthday celebration at Christ at Bethesda Gospel Chapel, Port Antonio, Portland.

The man from Fellowship, who serves as a church elder, has been with his wife for decades.

North & East spoke to Hyacinth, who shared that her husband has not changed since the time the two laid eyes on each other 47 years ago.

She described McKenzie, whom she calls “Bro Mac”, as a kind and gentle husband who has never, since the time they met, raised his voice at her.

“He has been kind, gentle, loving, and responsible. He is loved within the community and yesterday (April 6) persons from the Seventh- day Adventist Church came and gave him a plaque and recognied his example within the community. With all that and much more it gives me pleasure to just take care of him. Nothing happens to make me angry or vex with him or to be upset with him because of what he has been to me. I say to all the young men learn to take care of women and it will come back to you. At all times be loving and caring,” Hyacinth advised.

At the same time, McKenzie’s church son Ainsley Grant shared that he has been a role model to his church community.

“I look up to you as a true Christian. As a father you direct us; you are always there for us. Some go away, some come, but you stand up and are an example that we who know the Lord should follow. Those of us who are here today should see you as an example. We thank Sister Mac for supporting you, for always being there for you 100 per cent, and may the Lord continue to bless you as you keep up the good work,” said Grant.

Muriel Stewart, a member of McKenzie’s church family, also had kind words for the centenarian.

“Brother Mac is so loving and kind, and to see him live to be a hundred today is a blessing to us here at Bethesda. Whether we are big or we are small we should not play around Christianity — and Brother Mac is an example to us here,” she said.

— Everard Owen

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