FRIENDS and family turned out to celebrate the 100th birthday of a very special woman, who they call their Queen of Hearts.
Alice Atkinson enjoyed being centre of attention at her party at Gainsborough House Community Centre in Parnell Street.
And she kept everyone on their toes with her quick wit and ‘wicked’ sense of humour.
The centenarian was treated to a fabulous party with lunch, music and of course a tipple of sherry.
“She was in her element, chatting to everyone and laughing along,” said volunteer Rob Dilly.
“Alice is a wonderful woman with a great sense of humour and so sharp.”
“I made a speech in which I called her our Queen of Hearts.”
Rob said Alice had started as a volunteer at Gainsborough House in 1984 after losing her husband Clarence.
“She was looking for something to do and someone suggested she came here,” said Rob.
“She volunteered twice a week at our coffee mornings and she has been with us ever since.”
Alice still enjoys the social side of life, attending the Gainsborough House lunch club and social club every Monday and a coffee morning every Tuesday.
Her daughter Celia Rowe, 74, said Alice had been ‘overwhelmed’ by the kind birthday gestures, including a card from the Queen.
“I go out with mum quite a lot and I speak to her every day. It’s like having a sister for me,” said Celia.
“She still enjoys the bingo once a week and the organ society once a month.”
“People just can’t believe that she is the age she is, not just in appearance but in her mind too.”
“She is very sharp and has a wicked sense of humour.”
Alice lives independently and does not rely on any medication to keep her fit and healthy.
Celia said: “Mum jokes that it’s good living and behaving herself that has got her this far.”
Alice was thrilled to have her family around her at the bash including two nieces, grandson and step great grandchildren.
Rob added: “It was a pleasure to share Alice’s special day. It’s the only 100th we’ve had in the 46 year history of Gainsborough House.”
“She is like family to us and we know she feels the same way.”