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Birmingham woman celebrates 100th birthday

CELEBRATION: Beryl Irving as she attended her special 100th birthday dinner in Birmingham

BERYL IRVING, who was born on August 12, 1919, in Somerton St James, Jamaica, celebrated her 100th birthday with family, friends and well-wishers at a special celebratory dinner at the Ibis Hotel in Birmingham recently.

Beryl comes from a long line of family members who have carried on well into their 90s and 80s. She is one of 14 children, with four others still alive and well. Her mother was Hannah McGilvery, who was born in December 1880 and passed away in 1990 aged 110.

Sharing the special birthday celebration of 100 years with her were siblings, Inez Lawrence, 98, Roslyn McGilvery, 91, brother Gipton McGilvery, 87 and Rhoda Archer, 84. Also present were her sons Cardo Irving and Busher Irving, who came in from Jamaica, and daughters Veronica Irving and Jean Irving. Sadly another son, Babu Irving, had passed away a few years ago.

As many paid tributes to her, a common theme which came forward was that Beryl is a very independent person who rarely complains about anything health-related. And she was very well up to date on current affairs, which she can relate to from growing up in Jamaica.

She spends the majority of her life with daughter Veronica at her home in Tamworth, Birmingham, and Beryl regularly cooks meals for the family and visitors and rave over her delicious Bisi tea. She also does other household tasks at her own pace.

Beryl attends church regularly and is “quietly” spoken, but does have a strong voice for her many years, especially to laugh which she does often.

In praise of Beryl, her nephew Colin McGilvery, said: “We all as a family frequently visit her at home in Tamworth or enjoy auntie Beryl’s company during her many holidays to Jamaica along with the enormous amount of extended family that currently live on the island or visit from other parts of the world. Auntie Beryl often returns to her home at Glendevon in Hendon, Montego Bay, where her son Busher Irving resides.”

While Beryl’s married name is Irving, her maiden name is McGilvery with other connected families including the Cousley, Carey, Campbell and Reid to name a few.

This new centurion, who had received a letter of congratulations from The Queen, is a mother, grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother many times over.

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