The world’s second oldest man, James Sisnett of Barbados died on Thursday at the age of 113. James Emmanuel “Doc” Sisnett who was born on February 22, 1900 was the second oldest man behind 116 year old Jiroemon Kimura of Japan.
Sisnett was one of the last two living men verifiably born in the 19th century and the oldest and last surviving verified man born in the year 1900. He was the only living verified Barbadian supercentenarian and the last surviving verified man born in the 19th century
Linda Bowen, owner and Manager of the Ocean View Nursing Services in Graeme Hall, where Sisnett spent the final years of his life, has paid a very special tribute to the delightful man she knew.
Speaking to The Barbados Advocate, she expressed her thankfulness in having met Sisnett, whom she holds in very high esteem.
“We can say that he has had a remarkable life and we are happy and proud to have been in his life at this time. Just last year we saw a great decline in his energy and he did indicate to us that he was tired for the last couple of weeks,” said Bowen, a registered nurse.
“He was a very jovial person and liked to make jokes. We used to call him the lover of the home because everyday he was in love with another person in the home and promising to marry them,” she shared, also making known that he would then cheekily tell them that they missed out when they declined his offer.
She recounted one of his jokes where he said, “I eat dog you know,” which everyone within earshot then questioned and to which he responded, “Yes, hotdog!”
“He really liked to pass a joke,” she said with a warm smile.
Bowen also fondly remembered Sisnett’s charm, wit and sharp mind, adding, “He would always say that in life you cannot have love and money too. You have to have one or the other.”
She then spoke of Sisnett’s love for “old fashioned food”, especially breadfruit cou-cou and steamed fish and that his every culinary wish in “his last days” was made available to him.
The supercentenarian was also quite proud of his achievement in reaching the high echelons of long living, having been the second oldest man in the world and the oldest in the Caribbean and basked in his celebrity status.
“He loved the limelight and being interviewed. He was just great. One day his family took him out for a ride and he said, ‘Oh dear, I had a lovely ride but you know what, I did not see one donkey cart, only big, big motor cars!’
“He was really funny and made us laugh. He had the most endearing smile, which brought joy to us and we are really privileged and happy to have known him.”
Although Bowen treasures the time she spent with the famous Barbadian, who has been featured in many articles around the world, she regrets not keeping a record of his many sayings and musings of advice.
“I would have loved to write down his sayings. If I did, I would have had 113 of his sayings by now. I regret it now. We at Ocean View are proud to have mingled with history.”