Edinburgh pensioner Mary enjoys ‘wonderful day’ as she celebrates 100th birthday with surprise party

An Edinburgh pensioner has marked her milestone 100th birthday with a surprise party at a retirement housing service.

By Gary Flockhart
Friday, 11th March 2022, 11:55 am
Updated Friday, 11th March 2022, 11:58 am
Mary, who has lived at Royston Mains Close for 11 years, received a letter in the post from the Queen congratulating her on a milestone birthday.
Mary, who has lived at Royston Mains Close for 11 years, received a letter in the post from the Queen congratulating her on a milestone birthday.

Residents and staff at Royston Mains Close in the Capital helped arrange the special occasion for Mary Steele.

The party was attended by other residents and staff and was organised by Audrey Barclay, the Retirement Housing Manager.

As the celebrations took place in the residents’ communal lounge, Mary, who has lived at the complex for 11 years, received a letter in the post from the Queen congratulating her on a milestone birthday.

Mary said: “It was a wonderful day and I’m very grateful for all the effort Audrey and the team have gone to for me.

“There have been many ups and downs in my life but seeing my children grow up and being blessed with children of their own has to be one of the highlights.”

Mary raised four children of her own and now has six grandchildren, as well as eight great grandchildren. She worked in the timber core in her earlier years and then later in the financial sector.

When asked if she had any birthday wishes, Mary said: “I’ve asked my friends and family not to give me any gifts. Instead, I’ve told them all I would rather they make a donation to Parkinson’s UK or Chest, Heart and Stroke, as members of my family have been affected by these in some way.”

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Dunedin Canmore’s retirement service at Royston Mains Close has been operating for 30 years, with 50 homes offering independent living to people aged 60 and over.

Audrey Barclay said: “Mary is a very special lady, very independent, strong-willed and witty, and we all love her to bits.

“Mary absolutely loves bingo, and we hold this every week in the communal lounge, along with other types of games and lunches – we also arrange trips abroad with residents each year.

“We do everything we can to make sure that everyone who stays here feels included and part of what I consider my extended family.

“One of my favourite parts of my job is seeing everyone socialise and pull together - from residents helping each other and volunteering at events to the support we get from the wider team at Wheatley, such as investment in our facilities and our environmental team.”

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