Brownie’ is 100 not out
Lefroy Brownlow “Brownie” Place toasted his 100th birthday at the weekend with a Cup Match-themed celebration in Hamilton.
Friends, family and wellwishers packed the St Paul AME Church hall on Saturday to congratulate the Somerset fan on reaching “100 not out”.
Guests sat at 25 tables while a big screen showed photographs, information and memories from the life of Mr Place, who reached his milestone birthday the following day.
A former plumber, printer, mail courier and custodian, he married Sadie Marguerite Bassett in 1940. The couple had three children, two of whom have since passed away, while Sadie died in 1999.
Mr Place was joined on Saturday by daughter Charlene Tyrell and more than 100 other family members, who posed for pictures together outside before the bash.
As well as Gombey dancers, musical performances and no fewer than three birthday cakes, the party featured an array of speeches admiring a century well-lived.
Michael Dunkley, the Premier, reflected that Mr Place — who still drives his car around the island today — only obtained his licence at the age of 70.
“Most of the time they’re taking our driving licences away from us when we’re 70,” he added.
He also remarked that Mr Place had attended Cup Match a staggering 94 times in his life.
“You’ve seen winning streaks, you’ve seen losing streaks, but all the while you’re still here batting at the crease,” Mr Dunkley said.
Acting Opposition leader David Burt also offered his congratulations to the man of the hour.
“It’s clear that not only do you have good genes, but you also have very good judgment, as you’re supporting the winning Cup Match team,” he said.
Keicia Place, Mr Place’s granddaughter, was on the organising committee for his centenary celebration.
“We’ve been talking about this ever since his 99th birthday. We knew this year had to be spectacular,” she told The Royal Gazette.
“We really wanted to make this Cup Match a celebration of his life, and to make it as fun and as positive as possible.”
Midway through the shindig, Mr Place declared that he was having a whale of a time.
“I’ve never seen such an atmosphere. God has given me such riches,” said the centenarian, who earlier received a letter of congratulation from Queen Elizabeth II, before tucking into his dinner.
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