Birthday wishes from around the world for Burnley's Joan as she notches up a century
Relatives in America, Australia and Africa were able to wish Burnley's Joan Milner a Happy 100th Birthday.. thanks to the power of technology.
And amazing centenarian Joan showed that age is certainly no barrier when it comes to embracing that technology when she was the star of the show at the family meeting on Zoom.
A resident at the Abbeyfield Society's Harriet Street house Joan was surrounded by fellow residents and staff who look after everyone.
And while she had to remain in the lounge, friends and relatives managed to pass on their good wishes from the covid secure safety of the gardens and driveway.
Joan received many gifts, including chocolates and bouquets of flowers and a magnificent book which covered the period of 100 years from the date of her birth in1921.
Her daughter made a fruit cake and the daughter of another resident made a very special cake spelling out 100.
Pride of place on the day was the birthday card from Her Majesty the Queen, who has just celebrated her 95th birthday. The card is now on display in a frame which was a gift from the trustees of Abbeyfield, Burnley.
House manager Cath McEvoy and her staff laid on a birthday buffet and, although Joan doesn't drink alcohol, the champagne was flowing.
Joan’s connection with the organisation goes back to 1977 when the first Abbeyfield house was established in Burnley.
She served as a trustee and secretary to the charity for many years, withdrawing from an active role in 2003.
She keeps a weather eye on the current board of trustees, who value the foundations Joan helped to establish all those years ago.
Born in Worcestershire, Joan moved to Cardiff as a small child.
The family moved to Burnley in 1928 to live in Nelson Square and Joan's father worked for the fire service.
Joan married in 1942 and spent some time with her new husband in Aylesbury during the war years before moving back to Burnley and all three of her sons were accepted to study at Oxford.
Joan worked as a secretary for Cooper, Smith and Williams solicitors and in her 50's was encouraged by the partners to train as a probate clerk.
Her connection with the Abbeyfield Society began through a friend who introduced her to the 'not for profit' charitable organisation whose patron is the Prince of Wales.
The original trustees built a property containing 10 individual ensuite bedsits for people from the local area who were capable of independent living but wished to have the comfort and safety of communal living and the added advantage of a live-in housekeeper who provided home cooked meals. The house is in St Stephen Street Burnley and was such a success that the trustees later built a second home of similar size in Harriet Street which is now Joan's home.
Throughout her adult life Joan has enjoyed walking and reading and is a crossword aficionado and, in her daily catch-up calls with her son Mark, the first subject is always that day's crossword solution.
Whilst earlier years might have seen Joan walking to Whalley and Hurstwood, she confines her walks to the neighbourhood nowadays, enjoying fresh air, keeping fit and meeting people for a chat.