Naun celebrates 100

18/07/2010 20:01

“I am 100 years old, to God be the glory.” Those were the words uttered by Ivis Mae Hutelda Oliver Henry Dawkins, with microphone in hand and left index finger pointed in the air, and a loud cheer from the more that 250 family, friends and well-wishers present at the celebration of her 100th birthday which was held at Neil’s Auditorium, Ward Avenue, Mandeville on Sunday, August 28, 2011.

Ivis, affectionately known to most as Naun, was born on August 24, 1911 in Campbell Hill, Gold Mine, St. Catherine, Jamaica. She was the third of ten children born to Mary-Ann Albertha Oliver (formerly Thomas) and Thomas Larchin Oliver, and the only surviving one. She does not remember how she got the name Naun, but clearly recalls there were two Nauns at her school: Big Naun and Little Naun. She was Little Naun.

Naun attended the Bellas Gate Elementary School until the age of 15 and passed the Preliminary Exam. She was a bright girl and wanted to attend West Indian Training College (now Northern Caribbean University), but somebody told her mother that she would not be able to afford it because her husband (that is, Naun’s father) had passed away when Naun was just 9 years old. So instead, she sent Naun to learn dressmaking. Not only did Naun make dresses, but she made lovely pants too! Subsequently, a number of young ladies were taught dressmaking by her.