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Mighty Maud celebrates 109th birthday in style

Rachel McNabb

Reporter:

Rachel McNabb

MAUD Nicholl from Ballymena is officially Northern Ireland's oldest person after turning an incredible 109 years old.

Maud, from Woodgreen, celebrated making history on Tuesday, July 3 with family and friends at a tea party in the Tullyglass Hotel.

The sprightly 109 year old turned up at the event in a white Jaguar car after getting her hair done specially for the occasion.

Born in 1909 Maud has lived through five British monarchs, two world wars, the sinking of the Titanic, women getting the vote and the first man to land on the moon.

A member of Wellington Presbyterian Church, Maud is a keen gardener and still lives at home with the help of staff from Extra Care.

She also has a close circle of friends including her neighbours who are always on hand to help out of needed.

When asked what her secret to a long life was Maud replied: “I never worried too much about things and always took it in my stride”.

Maud explained that when her mother died she looked after her father and brother Joe.

She also spoke of her fondness of attending Sunday School as a child and then church.

Holding her birthday card from the Queen Maud added: “Always do the best you can every day. I have my trust in God to look after me.”

Those who helped Maud celebrate her 109th birthday, including second cousin Maureen Luke, described her as a “remarkable” woman who showed no signs of slowing down.

Councillor Beth Adger lives close by and has known Maud for about 30 years.

She said: “Maud is full of fun and has a great sense of humour. It is amazing that she is 109 and still lives at home. Her neighbours are all fantastic and they keep a very good eye on her.”

Neighbour William McDonald said he sees Maud everyday and “can't believe she is 109”.

Another neighbour Jackie Lynn said Maud used to go shopping with her when she was in her 90's.

She added: “Maud is terrific, a very independent lady with a wonderful sense of humour who loves her cups of tea.

“Its incredible how strong a lady she is. I remember her cutting her own hedges and she would go shopping with me into town when she was in her 90's.”

Minister of Wellington Presbyterian Church Rev Alistair Bates said Maud was a “real star”.

He added: “Maud has been a member of the church all her life and although she can no longer attend she is still very supportive.

“She is a very strong lady who still lives at home which is wonderful at 109 years of age.

“To think she has lived through so many historical events including the sinking of the Titanic is just incredible.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, congratulated Maud on her 109th birthday and presented her with a bunch of flowers and a card.

Councillor Millar said afterwards: “Huge congratulations to Maud on her 109th birthday.

“She is an inspirational woman and it was a privilege to spend time in her company this afternoon and pass on the best wishes of everybody in Mid and East Antrim.

“It is fantastic that Maud still lives alone and loves having her independence.

“Not only is Maud one of our oldest residents, she is also one of our most popular, as evidenced by the turnout at her party. I wish her many happy returns.”

Maud and guests celebrated the day with tea and cake.

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