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Care home resident celebrates 107th birthday in style despite lockdown

Ellen Gardner has been treated to a special party with a DJ and piper at Orchard Grove Care Home in Glasgow.

One of Scotland’s oldest women, who has lived through two World Wars and the Spanish flu outbreak, has not let the coronavirus pandemic hamper her 107th birthday celebrations.

Ellen Gardner, who lives at Orchard Grove Care Home in Glasgow, marked the milestone on Wednesday with a special party that included a DJ and a piper.

The birthday girl had special cakes donated by McGhee’s the Bakers, flowers from Glasgow’s lord provost and banners created by pupils from the Toryglen School hub for key workers.

Even her son Ronnie was able to safely watch his mother open presents and wish her happy birthday from outside the building in the home’s garden area.

The retired surveyor from Clarkston, East Renfrewshire, said: “I usually visit mum three times a week but haven’t been able to see her for weeks now because of the virus, which is a bit annoying.

“I’ve been able to phone her and the staff sent me a WhatsApp message of her in a wheelchair out in the gardens but it was nice to see her on her birthday, even if it was from a distance.

“She seems to be keeping remarkably well and is in good health for her age.”

He added: “Everything the staff have done is really remarkable. The staff are excellent in the unit she is in.

“They are very thoughtful and always friendly to myself and my wife when we visit.”

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Mrs Gardner was born in 1913 in the east end of Glasgow before marrying husband John, who died with cancer in 1970.

When she was younger she enjoyed visiting her other sons, Alan and Johnston, in Canada, Hong Kong and South Africa.

Glasgow Lord Provost Philip Braat, said: “I’d like to congratulate Ellen on this very special occasion.

“She has lived through some truly historic world events and her 107th birthday takes place amid yet another one.

“It is really heart-warming to hear of the hard work staff at Orchard Grove have put in to ensuring she can celebrate this momentous event and share it with her family despite social distancing and the lockdown.

“Their thoughtfulness and compassion at this exceptionally challenging time is commendable.”

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