Family reunion at Wigan woman's 100th birthday after long wait

A centenarian from the town marked the milestone by seeing her relatives for the first time in more than a year.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 2:37 pm
Margaret Suffolk, who is known as Josie, celebrating her 100th birthday

Great-great-grandma Margaret Suffolk, who is known by her middle name Josie, celebrated the massive milestone with a party at her grandson’s home in Marus Bridge.

Josie lives at Ancliffe Residential Home and has had to spend much of the Covid-19 pandemic fairly isolated, with few opportunities to properly spend time with her relatives.

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Margaret Suffolk, known as Josie, celebrating her 100th birthday with her family

After the trials and tribulations of the pandemic it was a lovely afternoon for the entire Suffolk clan to celebrate.

Her grandson Mark, who hosted the party, said: “It was a joyous occasion. With all the troubles and problems people have had over the last 18 months it was absolutely fantastic to celebrate someone’s 100th birthday after the pandemic and show that good things can happen.

“We got all the family together. They live all over the country but we all came together for the day.

“She has not been out of the care home for two and a half years and nobody has been able to physically interact properly with her since the beginning of the pandemic in March last year.”

Josie received a card from the Queen and a couple of members of staff from the care home also visited for the celebration.

Mark highly praised the team of employees at Ancliffe for the way they have looked after the vulnerable residents there throughout the difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Josie has lived in Wigan all her life and was born in Scholes before living in Pemberton and Orrell.

She moved into Ancliffe aged 97 and Mark said that until her mid-90s she would travel from Orrell to Pemberton to do her shopping, walking one way and catching the bus the other.

She had four children and daughters Christine and Pat are still alive, although her son Eddie and daughter Kathleen have died.

She also has seven grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren.

There was also a remarkable moment spanning a century of family history at the party when she got to hold the newest arrival in the Suffolk ranks, great-great-grandson Jaxon who was born just a few weeks ago.

Even more amazingly they both came into the world during or just after global health disasters, with Josie being born in 1921 at the end of the Spanish flu pandemic while Jaxon made his entry 100 years later after almost 18 months of upheaval caused by the novel coronavirus.

After bringing up her own children Josie went to work for the local authority, spending 20 years as a home help visiting people in their houses and providing the assistance they needed.

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