Musical celebration for centenarian Kate


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Staff at a Wrexham care home laid on a musical afternoon tea party to celebrate the 100th birthday of one of their residents as happy an occasion as possible.

It has been a year tinged with sadness for Kate Jasper who was heartbroken at the loss of her daughter last November.

But the team at the Bryn Bella care home, which is part of the Pendine Park care organisation in Wrexham, where Kate has been a resident for four years, were determined to mark her 100th birthday in style.

They arranged for fellow residents, friends and family, including Kate’s 90 year old sister, Beryl, to gather for tea, cakes and a good old fashioned sing-a-long.

The landmark celebration began when Kate was delivered with a traditional birthday greeting from the Queen, something she had been looking forward to throughout her nineties, according to her granddaughter, Joanne Richards, 46.

Joanne, who works for a Wrexham oil company, praised everyone at Pendine Park for helping to arrange the tea party, which included musical entertainment and singing.

She said: “The whole team here has been so good, they couldn’t have been more helpful. They went the extra mile to make sure nan’s 100th was a day to remember for us all.”

Bryn Bella wellbeing co-ordinator, Nicky Clarke, and assistant, Mary Prytherch, said they were delighted to help the day go with a swing.

Nicky said: “It has been a hard few months for Kate and her family since her daughter passed away. She is a lovely lady and we wanted to help make this special birthday as happy an occasion as possible for her.”

Kate’s daughter, Margaret Griffiths, died last November, aged 69. She was the only child of Kate and her husband, Stanley Jasper, who died when Margaret was just 10 years old.

Joanne said: “Nan is from Denbighshire and well known locally. She comes from a big family of 15 and they were all farmers. She helped out on the family farms for many years and would get stuck in with all the daily duties including caring for the animals.

“Out of the 15 siblings there is only nan and her younger sister Beryl still surviving and it was so nice for nan to have Beryl here with her to celebrate.

“When my mum was a child she and nan lived at Froncysllte and also for a time in the converted old doctor’s surgery at Cefn Mawr. Nan never remarried after my grandfather died but she was an active lady and very involved with the Darby and Joan organisation in Fron. We have old photos of her with fellow Darby and Joan members and also a lovely photo of my mum with nan sitting in a field in Fron when they were younger.”

Margaret and her husband, retired butcher Edward Griffiths, had two children, Joanne and her brother Richard, also a butcher. Joanne’s 17 year old daughter, Charlotte – Kate’s great grandchild – was also at the 100th birthday party.

Kate became a resident with Pendine Park care organisation after she suffered a stroke a few years ago.

Joanne said: “She was initially treated at Wrexham Maelor hospital, then transferred to Llangollen Cottage Hospital. When they couldn’t do any more for her we found accommodation at Bryn Bella and nan has thrived here. It is so comfortable and relaxed, and there are so many activities for the residents, everything from art sessions to Zumba. Plus all the family are always made welcome here whenever we come to visit nan.”

Joanne’s brother Richard and his wife Kay were also among the party goers helping make Kate’s day.

As well as a birthday card from the Queen, Kate was also thrilled to receive an official letter of congratulations from the Works and Pensions Department and another from First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones.

The family also ordered a bumper 100th birthday cake specially for the occasion for Kate to share with all her friends at Bryn Bella.

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