A senior care practitioner has retired from her job at a care home in Wrexham where her daughter was born.
Joan Price, 66, came over to North Wales from her home in the Irish village of Golden in County Tipperary in 1975.
She initially worked at what was then called Nazareth House, a care home for both the elderly and unmarried mothers which was run by an order of nuns called the Poor Sisters of Nazareth.
Nazareth House was taken over in 2003 by Pendine Park care organisation, saving it from closure, and is now known as Hillbury House which provides residential and nursing care for older people.
Joan said: “My daughter, Rebecca, who is now 34, was even born at Hillbury, although that was when it was still Nazareth House. I thought as I worked there she might as well be born there.
“Of course I wasn’t an unmarried mother; I met my husband, Geoffrey Price, when I came to Wrexham. I always joke that I couldn’t find an Irishman so had to make do with a Welshman.
“He’s been a fantastic husband and dad though and I wouldn’t be without him. We were married in April, 1985.
“I worked right up to a week before Rebecca, who now works as a nursery nurse, was born. I suppose it was a bit different then.”
Joan says it was a family connection that landed her a job at Nazareth House more than 40 years ago.
She said: “I was fed up in Ireland and couldn’t get the sort of job I wanted. My uncle, who knew priest called Father O’Donnell, got me a job at Nazareth House. I moved over and have been here ever since.
“Then Mario and Gill Kreft bought Nazareth House and it became Hillbury House care home but I stayed working here. It’s been brilliant
“I have a lot of friends, both residents and staff. It’s a lovely home and Cindy Clutton is a fantastic manager and Ann Edwards is a great deputy manager.
“Our former manager, Mildred Heyward, was also fantastic. Sadly Mildred passed away in April last year. We were close friends as well as colleagues.
“My own mother-in-law, Molly Price, was a resident at Hillbury House too. She sadly passed away in March last year.”
She added: “I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years, mostly for the better. The care people get is amazing and Hillbury House is such a lovely warm and welcoming place.
“I’m proud to have worked at Hillbury and if ever I have to go into a home, I would want it to be Hillbury, nowhere else.
“I’m going to miss all the residents and the team I work with but I live very close by and will be popping in to see my friends and chatting to residents.
“But I also want to spend time with my two grandchildren, Dylan, nine, and Rien, three and of course, Geoffrey who is now retired from his job with the council. He was a security officer and handyman.”
Hillbury manager Cindy Clutton says Joan has always been a dedicated and committed senior care practitioner.
She said: “We are going to really miss her. If ever I needed some help she was always there and always prepared to put extra time in.
“Our residents love Joan. She is always kind, caring and thoughtful and understood their needs and that each resident is an individual.”
Hillbury deputy manager added: “Joan is always so hard working and reliable. And she was always prepared to work extra time if we needed help. She is going to be really missed by everyone, both residents and staff.
“She has all the attributes needed to be a great care practitioner – kindness, compassion and dedication to her residents.
It was a view echoed by senior manager Gill Hughes who said: “She has always been totally dedicated to her care practitioner role and I know how much residents think of her.
“Joan is always incredibly popular among her colleagues. It will be extremely difficult finding someone who can fill her shoes. She has always been so dedicated to the people she cares for.”