Ninety-three and kicking for the century
Kaieteur News – April 13, 2008
(By Alex Wayne)
While it has been customary that we feature every available centenarian in Guyana, Kaieteur News recently bumped into remarkable 94-year-old Daniel Duncan, who has vowed to attain a century. He told us this intriguing story.
Turning 93 last Thursday, the still jovial Daniel Duncan is still in good health and exudes vitality.
Born on April 10, 1915, in the Ruimveldt Housing Scheme, Daniel grew up in that community always ready to defend members of the opposite sex from what he referred to as ‘male predators’.
“I was always a good child and definitely believed in the Creator. I was against men who ill-treated or abused the feminine gender, and did everything in my power to protect them.”
According to Daniel, there was a burning desire within him to rescue women from male torment and abuse, and he did so in many instances, even resorting to overpowering males who were physically and verbally abusive to their spouses or girlfriends.
At school he was the ‘protector of the girls’, pouncing on and demolishing the male students who would customarily pinch the girls, pull their pony tails, or tie them to the benches during classes. This, he said, landed him in many fights and made numerous enemies among his male colleagues. He was not to be deterred by their aggression, and stood firm ground in maintaining his belief that ‘men were supposed to love and cherish their female counterparts’.
This action naturally drew all the females by his side, which resulted in him being the main attraction for the girls during his school days at the J.E. Burnham School on William Street, Kitty.
While he spent the latter part of his life making peace between couples, Daniel has enjoyed his fair share of satisfaction at seeing them resolve their differences for the good, but he noted that he often came to blows with the male spouses in the process.
Now at 93, and still alert and active, he gives lectures in various schools on valid aspects of general knowledge which, he says, “are bound to benefit the younger generation”.
Even as he advises the young people not to focus on vanity but to love and honour their parents instead, Daniel credits his agility and strength to a strict diet and divine guidance.
Such was his strength that, with a smile on his face, he related a gruesome quarry accident that cost him his left wrist and hand, and blinded him.
Daniel related that, in his early teens, a pandit from India told him that he will be involved in a horrible water accident, but he never allowed the information to bother him.
However, 32 years later, while working as a mechanic/engineer at a quarry in the Mazaruni River, an explosion blinded him and damaged his left wrist so badly that it required amputation.
Daniel said stone particles destroyed his eyes, while a large boulder flying through the air crushed his left wrist.
Life for him has not changed a bit regardless of his sightless status.
Over the years, this ever-smiling citizen, who raves that he is still a hot point among the women, has learnt to adjust to his dark world, which he says he fills and brightens with memories of his youthful days.
Daniel boasts that he is still a hot number on the dance floor and enjoys the mirthful laughter of his ‘girls’ as he twirls them around any given dance floor.
Non-consumption of alcohol and avoiding cigarettes are a key factor in maintaining good health and living to a ‘ripe old age’, according to Daniel, who says that obeying those two self-initiated rules has done positive things for him.
He advises the youths to make good choices and to live under the control of the Almighty.