Message from across the world makes Stambourne centenarian’s birthday even more special

Lily Roberts receives her birthday message from The Queen from postman Stan. Picture: Janine O'Grady. ANL-161104-104936001
Lily Roberts receives her birthday message from The Queen from postman Stan. Picture: Janine O'Grady. ANL-161104-104936001

The way that social media can bring people together in celebration was illustrated last week when Stambourne’s oldest resident celebrated her 100th birthday.

The village hall was buzzing on Thursday (7) as friends and relatives of Lily Roberts attended a tea party held in honour of her big day.

Among the many guests was Lily’s daughter Tess, who has lived in Australia since 1966 and flew into the UK from her home city of Perth to be with her mum on her birthday.

Tess was making her first visit to Stambourne since Christmas, 2007 and this time she was joined by her daughter Janine, who lives in Melbourne.

The party all stemmed from an initial post made on social media, as Tess explained: “I went on Stambourne’s Facebook page and put ‘there’s a lady in your village who turns 100 in April’ and Sian (Davies-Hatton, who edits the page) came back and asked me who it was and it’s all come from there.”

Also at the party was another of Lily’s daughters, Kathy, who lives in Chester Court, Haverhill, along with her two sons, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.

Lily has two other children, Keith and Christine and a total of five grandchildren, six great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Kathy organised the birthday card from The Queen, which was delivered in person on the day by postman Stan, Sian booked the hall and various members of the community prepared food and made a birthday cake, on which were written the names of the clubs that Lily has been involved with since moving to Stambourne from Sussex in 1958; the Bowls Club, Silver Link Club and the Ladies Group.

A delighted Lily said: “I can’t believe I’m 100. I didn’t know I was having a party.

“I’m surprised to see all these people.”