St. John’s Antigua- He may have lost his sight to glaucoma, and his hearing is failing slowly, but at 103-year-old Archibald “Uncle Archie” Peters can hold his own in any conversation and his memory of anyone he has ever interacted with him is still very much intact.
The resident of Valmon’s Caregiving Home for the Elderly celebrated the milestone yesterday in the company of Governor General’s deputy Sir Eustace Francis and his wife, along with friends and family.
Peters, who can still walk and stand for a short while and requires some assistance, spent the better part of 20 minutes chatting with Sir Eustace about his days as a young man and reminiscing on many people he encountered then.
“I bring you warm greetings from the Government of Antigua & Barbuda and a special greeting from the Governor General who could not be here because she is away on official business in England,” Sir Eustace told the birthday celebrant. “I certainly hope you live to see many more years.”
The musician, fisherman, agriculturist, livestock farmer and avid cricket fan played parish league cricket as a bowler and was awarded in his youth for his accomplishment.
“He will tell you what he likes, rice and bread; he doesn’t care for the fungi and he doesn’t like vegetables. He always saying ‘don’t give me any lettuce because that is rabbit food,’” daughter Adamae Lewis said.
The centenarian sang one of his favourite songs, Roll Jordan Roll, and three residents of the nursing home led in singing of Marching up to Zion, On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand and It is Well.
Peters was born to Williams and Maria Peters on June 13, 1909 in an area called Spring Hill near Falmouth, and in 1939 moved to Falmouth.
He is the lone survivor of 13 siblings and fathered 11 children. In 1942 he married his wife Camella and after more than 40 years together she passed away.
Uncle Archie is not the only one with longevity in his family. His sister Patience Peters died days after celebrating her 99th birthday.