Aunt Rose hits one hundred
Celebration Time
January 20, 2006

Aunt Rose hits one hundred

Whether it was last Wednesday January 18, or January 15 that Rosabelle Cruickshank marked her 100th birthday, there is no question about the depth of character of this lady.

Everyone in the North Leeward Town of Chateaubelair knows and respects her. They call her “Aunt Rose”. But her acclaim has extended beyond the town’s borders and she is now a local legend.{{more}}

She has earned her admiration by dint of hard work. And she also cultivated a generous spirit perhaps in tribute to the Almighty who oversaw the bounty of her ten-acre plot which she managed at ‘Farm,’ just outside the Fitz Hughes area.

Aunt Rose produced an abundance of nutmeg, a crop that fetched high prices in former times. She was a farmer of immense quality but she is also a deeply religious woman.

Aunt Rose is considered a pillar of the Methodist movement and held the fortress at Chateaubelair for most of her life. In fact, her residence is across the street from the Chateaubelair Methodist Church, and Aunt Rose rang the bell for services and supervised the compound.

Aunt Rose was the only child of Johnathan Cruickshank, a European man, and a lady known as Petty Daniel.

Even though Aunt Rose had a successful farming career, she never married, and had no children. She however ensured the development of a number of close relatives and others throughout the community.

It was no wonder that a broad spectrum of the nation was represented at Sunday’s celebration in her honour. The event had two components: the first was a dedication service at the Chateaubelair Methodist Church, the other, a function under a tent that covered the area between the Church and her residence.

Area representative Dr. Jerrol Thompson was among the gathering, as was Cabinet colleague, Social Development and National Mobilisation Minister Mike Browne.

The Edwards family has been an integral part of the Rose Cruickshank experience, and their lineage was well represented at Sunday’s celebration.

Persons remember Aunt Rose along with the Ottleys and the Debiques as planks in the Methodist Church.

Governor General Sir Frederick Ballantyne was expected to make a visit on behalf of the Queen on Wednesday in keeping with documents recording her birth which show Rosabelle Cruickshank as having been born on January 18, 1906. But Aunt Rose had been marking her birthday on January 15 for the previous 99 years, so she was not going to be robbed of three days.

The Searchlight congratulates this outstanding citizen on her accomplishment.