Despite some restrictions on visitors and the extra protection measures the Abbeyfield St Albans Society have taken, over 20 of Enid's family and friends gathered at the end of Grace Muriel House’s driveway, where Enid lives with us, to serenade her with renditions of ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘For She’s A Jolly Good Fellow’.
“I knew nothing about it,” Enid said. “I was blindfolded when they took me out and was asking, ‘Where are you taking me, am I outside?’. When the blindfold was removed it was a lovely surprise to see most of my family and friends, especially my youngest great-grandchild who is six months old and who I hadn’t seen before. I’m lucky to have lots of friends including my long-term friend Jenny, who I met at the United Reformed Church many years ago and who organised the party.”
Following the signing, a local postman arrived to present Enid with a birthday card from The Queen. “I said thank you to Her Majesty and curtsied from my chair as best I could,” she said. However, videos of the presentation also show that she took a look at The Queen’s picture on the cover and exclaimed, “I look better than her!” provoking roars of laughter from everybody!
Watch the moment:
Enid has managed to stay in touch regularly with her son, daughter and grandchildren since lockdown began. She said, “In normal circumstances they would be popping in and out and taking me out, but visits now are more frequently over WhatsApp and FaceTime. I speak to one of them every night and enjoy garden visits when permitted.”
Enid has led a very active life. She met her late husband Robbie during the war, following which they moved to St Albans. An accomplished badminton player, she managed to play regularly up until the age of 90, and attended a weekly canasta group.
Staff at Grace Muriel House describe Enid as outgoing with a sociable nature. The Registered Manager, Annette Gibbons, said, “Enid has a young outlook and takes a pride in her appearance. She has a good rapport with the staff and had developed close friendships within the home, which has helped her to cope in recent months. She has had a number of physical setbacks, but she is a strong and determined lady, who will always do her best to bounce back.”
Celebrations continued throughout the day, “In the afternoon we had a lovely party with some of the friends I have made at Grace Muriel House and Lorellie, one of the cooks, made a beautiful cake covered in flowers.”
“I had a fantastic day,” she added.
When asked about her favourite experiences of the last 100 years, Enid said, “I have had a good life and overcome some difficult times, but I have made so many good and lasting friendships and I have a wonderful, loving family.”
The Abbeyfield Society would like to wish Enid a very Happy 100th Birthday! Thank you to the Abbeyfield St Albans Society and all who made her day special.