Could the world’s oldest living human be a Haitian woman living in Laval?
Officials from the Guinness Book of World Records are currently in Haiti to determine if Cicilia Laurent, who celebrated her 120th birthday Sunday evening, is the new record holder, Montreal’s Haitian Consulate said.
If so, she will beat out 116-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones of Brooklyn, N.Y., who took the title last year.
Cicilia Laurent spent much of the evening blessing well-wishers who came to celebrate her 120th birthday.
Laurent would also only be two years shy of the all-time record holder, Jeanne Louise Calment, a woman from France who died at 122 years old in 1997.
For Montreal’s Haitian community, Laurent is bigger than royalty, in quite a literal sense because Queen Elizabeth is actually thirty years her junior. In fact, Canada’s sovereign has sent Laurent a birthday greeting in the past.
Laurent moved here from Haiti in 2010 after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 100,000 people.
Cicilia Laurent was transported to Montreal from her home in Laval for her 120th birthday party.
“It can’t be easy to live all the way up to 120,” said 12-year-old Jason Merjuste, literally 10 times Laurent’s junior.
It is not easy, but her family said a few things help. Laurent constantly prays and enjoys watching cartoons on TV. She never turns the news on because that stresses her out.
“She likes everybody and she likes to laugh and to have fun with everybody,” said her granddaughter-in-law Marie-Lorna Pierre.
Cicilia Laurent celebrated her 120th birthday at the Haitian consulate in downtown Montreal on Jan. 31, 2016.
Laurent doesn’t eat junk food anymore. Her diet is all natural, consisting of chicken, bananas, juice and mashed corn.
She wouldn’t even eat her birthday cake.
Her birthday wish? To meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and ask him a special favour: allow her two great-grandsons in Haiti to visit her in Canada so she can see them again.
The PMO’s response so far is a congratulatory letter on the way.