On Saturday 3rd April, we celebrated our first 100th birthday of 2021 when our lovely Verna turned 100.
Verna has been a resident with us since September 2020 and although she insisted she didn’t want a fuss on her special day, we hosted a small socially distanced afternoon tea for her and her closest family, whilst members of her wider family sent in birthday messages. We ensured Verna’s favourite meals were on the menu for the day: smoked salmon on brown bread and an extra-lemony lemon drizzle cake. She also received her eagerly anticipated card from the Queen, topping off an extra special occasion.
Verna was born in Todmorden in West Yorkshire and at the age of 14, became an apprentice dressmaker and still has a flair for sewing, embroidery and cross stitch. At 21, she signed up and served in the WAAF in signalling and communications and can still remember Morse code.
Verna met her beloved husband Jim at a railway station during her time in the WAAF and together, they have two daughters, Barbara and Carol, four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
When asked the secret to a long life, Verna replied: “I’ve had an exceptionally good life, with no illnesses since the age of five, when I had measles. I’ve really just lived an ordinary life.”
Elaine Ratcliffe, our home manager, said: “Verna is a highly-regarded member of our home and under normal circumstances, we would have celebrated with a big party as we love any excuse to celebrate.”
“My brilliant team were determined to ensure the day was as wonderful as it could be and it was lovely to see how much Verna enjoyed herself. Our chef made a beautiful cake and catered for an intimate afternoon tea and the video messages from Verna’s family members who couldn’t join us made it all the more special.”