A great-great-grandmother who worked as a volunteer at a hospice until she was 92 has celebrated a new milestone – her 100th birthday.
Taking pride of place at the Pendine Park care organisation where she now lives was a birthday card from the Queen, along with cards from the UK government’s Secretary of States for Work and Pensions, Damian Green and Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns.
Surrounded by friends and family at the Hillbury Care Home, Mrs Jones revealed that avoiding alcohol and cigarettes were among the secrets of her longevity.
Gertrude was born in 1917 in Lowestoft, Suffolk and moved to Wrexham as a child when her father landed a job in the town and moved his family to a terraced property on Salop Road.
She grew up in Wrexham and attended what was then The National School, which is now St Giles, until the age of 14 when she left to get a job.
Daughter Kath Teburi, who lives in Wrexham, says her mum had four children with her husband, Herbert Lee Jones, who passed away in 1989 just before what would have been their golden wedding anniversary.
She said: “I am the youngest of four children. Mum has 11 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and just one great-great grandchild so far.
“Mum began working as a volunteer at the Nightingale House Hospice shop in Wrexham shortly after my dad died and retired when she was 92. She enjoyed the company and meeting people.
“She was there as a shop assistant for more than 20 years, serving customers and restocking the shelves with donated goods.
“She had a lot of jobs over the years and during the war worked in a munitions factory. She also used to clean for a head teacher and teachers at one time and my dad and her were very good at painting and decorating and used to do work for neighbours.
“Mum loved bingo and was a regular at the Mecca in Wrexham. She was always quite lucky and won several thousand pounds on one occasion. She went straight home and split it into envelopes to give to her family. She has always been incredibly kind like that.”
Kath added: “She has had a wonderful birthday celebration and the staff at Hillbury Care Home have been fantastic. She is so well looked after and nothing is too much trouble.
“She has been at Hillbury for around five years now and really likes it. She has lots of friends. Reaching 100 is remarkable achievement and as a family we are so proud of her.”
Gertrude’s friend, Dinah Fidler of Cefn-y-bedd, popped into to help her celebrate her special birthday and she worked with her for more than 20 years as volunteers at the Nightingale House charity shop.
She said: “We actually retired together. I think if I had stayed on Gertrude would have too, even though she was 92.
“She enjoyed meeting people and was always very active. She has been a really good friend and I am so pleased to have been able to come and see her on the occasion of her 100th birthday.”
Hillbury manager Cindy Clutton revealed Gertrude also had a second celebration with residents and staff of the care home.
She said: “Gertrude is a popular with other residents and staff and is a lovely lady. We were so pleased to help her celebrate her special birthday.
“And it was lovely to see her enjoying a special celebration surrounded by so many members of her close family.”