ONE of Northern Ireland’s oldest citizens - Lena Wylie - this week celebrated her 102nd birthday in style with a special party.
Mrs Wylie enjoyed the company of family and close friends at a function in the Milesian Manor, Magherafelt, where she has been resident for almost 20 years.
The former Miss Wilson was born in the Moneymore area on June 16 1911 and later moved to live in Ballyronan after marrying Alfred Wylie.
She had five children - two girls and three boys - and, as well as doing the housework, worked as a seamstress for many years.
Her husband was a lorry driver and died in 1997.
Two of her children, Robbie and Eileen, emigrated to New Zealand some years ago, but remain in touch with the family.
When she turned 100 Lena received a birthday card from Queen Elizabeth and recently received her third medal from the Irish President’s office - this time from Michael Higgins.
Lena, who still enjoys good health, likes to read and meet people. She puts her long life down to hard work and maintaining a ‘good spirit’.
Her daughter Gladys, who looked after her until she became a resident in the Milesian Manor, says Lena likes to relax with a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits.
She also had a strong work ethic throughout her life. “When she was younger she was up early to make breakfast for daddy,” she explained. “She was then out planting potatoes or working in the house. She was always busy,” said Gladys.
IN the year Lena Wylie was born - 1911 - the ill fated Titanic was launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.
King George V had just been crowned and over 70,000 unionists protested against Irish Home Rule. The year also marked the last census in Ireland until 1926 due to the War of Independence.