District five representative Paul Whit (left) presents Veronique Javois with flowers and a card as Claire Javois and other family members look on.
MARIGOT–Family, friends and well-wishers spent the day visiting Veronique Javois who celebrated her 99th birthday on Thursday at her home on Rue de Hollande, Marigot. She is the aunt of former Vice-President of the Collectivité Claire Javois, now a candidate for the upcoming Legislative Elections. District Five representative Paul Whit and some of his board members were there to present a card and bouquet of flowers. Javois was born on May, 18, 1918, in St. Martin, spending most of her life at the house on Rue de Hollande where her main occupation was as a baker.
It was when she got married at the age of 21 in 1939 that she started baking bread for the residents in St. James and Marigot in a wood oven that was built by her late husband Paul Javois.
“People would line up to buy her bread before they went to work, and when she got too old to bake, she started selling bread for another company,” said Claire Javois. “She was always in the bread business. Because she had no children of her own she was everyone’s mother, and anyone who came around she gave them food and was always welcoming.”
“She helped her brothers and sisters with their children and my mother too. Veronique was the first of eight children born to her mother, and the only one today living.”
Veronique Javois spent about a year-and-a-half in the Dominican Republic when her parents went there to cut sugar cane. Her brother and sisters were born in that country. She returned to St. Martin when she was 17. She also spent some time in Guadeloupe.
“We’re looking forward to your 100th birthday and we want to be here again for a big party,” Whit told the almost-centenarian. “We’ll have a banner with your image outside honouring you and your bread making. On behalf of your family and the district we want to wish you all the best.”
Although slightly deaf, Veronique Javois is in good health and was able to spend a little time reminiscing about her younger days.
Asked how she felt, she said: “I don’t feel so bad. Thank you Jesus.”