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TRINIDAD : KHEDAN HEERA, LE PLUS VIEIL IMMIGRANT INDIEN VIVANT,

reçoit les honneurs à 99 ans.
TRINIDAD : KHEDAN HEERA, LE PLUS VIEIL IMMIGRANT INDIEN VIVANT,

{{Oldest immigrant gets award}}

Ninety-nine-year-old {{Khedan Heera}}, the oldest living immigrant was honoured at an Indian Arrival Day seminar held yesterday at Divali Nagar in Chaguanas.

Heera journeyed across the Kala Pani on the SS Ganges from India to Trinidad back in 1916. He told Newsday yesterday he came as a child just eight years old with his parents.

From that day he had to start working in the field because he said they had no schools at that time.

“I worked up to 80 years but I had a little operation and that gave me some trouble. In those days things were a little hard,” he said.

Heera eventually got married at what he deemed as a little late, when he was 30 years old.

He has seven children, 25 grand-children and 15 great grand-children. His wife passed away some 30 years ago.

Heera then spoke glowingly of his children. He said, “None of my children ever harassed people or curse them. They were straight because they were afraid of what could happen if I was told they did. The funny thing is that I never beat them because you can’t hit children in front of their grandmother who was living in the same house.”

He added, “I really didn’t have a problem I had my little garden but with regards to the children, I worked so hard and mind all of them. At one time my wife asked me why was I killing myself with work? I told her that I don’t want any of my children to work in the fields.”

Heera says his four daughters are all educated and have jobs, so too with the boys. He said, “I’m proud of all my children.

With all his children grown now, Heera says he doesn’t want to burden them with taking care of him but he could go to any one of them and get a plate of food or spend a night or two.

He said, “I’m getting a little of Government money so I make out with that.”

As for changes over the years, he said it wasn’t so bad because when his children were of school age there were schools for them to go to.

Asked how he intends to spend the rest of your life he said: “Each day as how they come. I will have to take it.”

Article courtesy Desosaran Bisnath and Newsday.co.tt

[http://www.jahajeedesi.com/->http://www.jahajeedesi.com/]

With our special thanks.

{«When I was a child, I imagined an India that was overcrowded streets; house-bound women with down-cast eyes and submissive smiles; and girl children in faded saris who carried heavy earthen pots on their heads. Gradually, my eyes opened to the beauty that is India... Journeys into our past help us to understand and appreciate who we are, without necessarily taking anything away from who we are today.»} - Bunny Rambhajan (Of Journeys and Arrivals).

{« J'ai toujours la même émotion quand je vois des images de l'Inde.
Je me dis qu'il y a peut-être parmi ces gens quelqu'un de ma famille,
ou alors que j'aurais pu être parmi ces gens là...»} - Pierre Papaya.

_ Photo : Trinidad Coolies 1897, courtesy Nanda Sahadeo.
_ Cliquez pour agrandir les photos.

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