A WOMAN who came to the Lothians to visit her sister and ended up spending the rest of her life here has celebrated her 100th birthday.
Mary Moran marked her century at the Nazareth House care home in Bonnyrigg with a party which included pipers and Irish dancers, while Midlothian Provost Joe Wallace also paid a visit.
Originally from Ireland, Mary travelled across the Irish Sea to Scotland to visit her sister in Bathgate, West Lothian, and never went home.
Born on January 10, 1913, in the parish town of Achill, Co Mayo, she was raised on a smallholding by parents Pat and Ellen Gallagher.
She was one of six children, three of whom died in infancy.
Mary spent her early adult life working on the family farm before marrying James Moran on April 15, 1948, at the age of 35.
He was known to everyone as Seamus and worked on his family’s small fishing boat, with Mary constantly worrying about his safety at sea.
She said he was “the nicest man that you could ever meet”, with a great sense of humour that would make her laugh all the time.
Mary and Seamus lived in a flat in Buccleuch Street, near the Meadows, from where they treated Mary’s sister’s children like their own.
They initially worked at Swanston Farm. However, Mary went on to work in the City Hospital until her retirement.
Mary recalls how a gypsy lady once told her that her house would always be full of children and it was – although they were never her own.
She said never becoming a mother was her one true regret in life.
But to the children of her friend of 45 years, Jane Bonner, Mary and Seamus acted like grandparents.
Mary and Jane were introduced by Monsignor Highland at St Patrick’s Church in the Old Town, and become devoted friends.
Jane had two boys, and Mary and Seamus would pick them up from school and take them home where they would make their dinner.
Now the boys have their own children and they refer to Mary as “granny”.
Seamus died on January 6, 1993 after 45 years of marriage.
Mary stayed on at their flat in Buccleuch Street before finally moving to Nazareth House in June 2008.