On October 19th I attended a really special occasion - the 101st birthday of Blaenavon born and bred Sylvia Howells. Mrs Howells is a resident at Arthur Jenkins Care Home which hosted a lovely birthday party, complete with singer to serenade her!
The South Wales Argus covered the story on October 24th:
A special party was held at a Blaenavon residential home to celebrate the birthday of one of its oldest residents. Sylvia Howells turned 101 on Thursday, October 19 and was joined by her family and friends as well as two mayors and staff from the Arthur Jenkins Care Home for her party. Blaenavon-born and bred, Mrs Howells has lived at the home since 2009 and she shared her secret of longevity.
“I think it’s keeping busy and doing plenty of exercise,” said Mrs Howells. The 101-year-old was delighted that the Hafod Care staff threw her a party, which included a special cake baked by the centre cook and entertainment from singer Dean Sharpe. “I have always been happy here and nothing is too much trouble for the staff,” said Mrs Howells.
Her guests included daughter Veronica Grey and son-in-law Alan, as well as Cllr Jessica Powell and Cllr Phyllis Roberts, the 93-year-old Blaenavon mayor.
Born at the Waun Tavern public house, Mrs Howells was one of six siblings - four girls and two boys. She grew up in the area and at the age of 16 started working as a housekeeper in Harley Street in London. She returned home when the war broke out and held various jobs in north Wales, Bristol and Weston-super-Mare until she married at the age of 26.
Mrs Howells met her husband Glyn through a mutual friend at her church in Blaenavon. The couple were married for 60 years prior to Mr Howells’s death 15 years ago. The Howells had one daughter, one granddaughter and two great-granddaughters.
Jane Saunders, the care home manager for more than 14 years, said: “Sylvia is an amazing lady. She was registered blind a few years ago, but she has not let this affect her and she is still able to carry out most of her daily tasks independently. It’s always lovely to celebrate a special birthday and we are delighted that Sylvia’s family and friends were able to join us and enjoy the party. We pride ourselves on providing the best levels of care and encouraging our residents to remain active members of our local community. There’s always lots going on and we have a very happy home.”
Arthur Jenkins Care Home provides residential accommodation for 29 people including a specialist unit caring for those living with dementia. To find out more call 01495 790319 or visit hafodcare.org.uk.