Smiling at 102

Rosemount Care Home resident Mrs Sarah Berry celebrates her 102nd birthday with son Aubrey and niece Gillian Gourley. INPT17-200.
Rosemount Care Home resident Mrs Sarah Berry celebrates her 102nd birthday with son Aubrey and niece Gillian Gourley. INPT17-200.

Edgarstown woman Sarah Berry may have just turned 102 but her wit and zest for life remain as strong as ever.

Sarah, who was born on April 20, 1915, reckons there has been some mistake and that she’s only actually 82, adding with a wry smile, “But 102’s not that old yet!”.

The great-grandmother, who is a resident at Rosemount Care Home, was the centre of attention on Thursday when her surviving son Aubrey and other relatives travelled from England for the big celebration.

Always immaculately dressed, she has three grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren, all of whom she adores.

Sarah, who lived in the Edgarstown area all her life, and only moved into a care home when she was 96, grew up as an only child after her father was killed in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

She was widowed herself when her sons were young.

She worked five-and-a-half days a week in Hamilton and Robbs linen factory as a weaver and later in the Metal Box factory in Lurgan.

It is little wonder than that between working, rearing her children and keeping house, she had little time for herself or for hobbies.

Today, she more than makes up for that, enjoying activities such has painting as well as jokes, stories and the odd song.

As a regular church-goer she also looks forward to visits from the clergy.

Liz Redpath, activities co-ordinator. said, “Sarah never complains about aches and pains and enjoys frequent cups of tea which must be hot, with her favourite bread and jam.”

When presented with the option of a glass of wine to mark her birthday, she declined in favour of lemonade and sweets.

And Sarah’s answer to the reason for her longevity is simple - “It’s whatever God decides”.