Neighbours throw party for centenarian

MILESTONE: Peggy Rooney celebrates 100 years. Times photo Farida Master

Make as many friends as you can and always overlook their faults.

Everyone has faults and you should not let them come in the way of friendship, says Peggy Rooney sharing her words of wisdom as she turns 100.

The Irish lady who lived in Tui Vale Road in Cockle Bay for more than 40 years knows what it is to have good friends.

Some of the old neighbours who lived on Tui Vale got together to throw a small party for Mrs Rooney’s 100th birthday.

Elizabeth Davies, 69 said Mrs Rooney had no family left.

“Her husband Cyril died almost 30 years ago. Peggy is now at the Howick Baptist Hospital since she had a fall last month. We want to do something special for her,” she said.

“We thought we could surprise her with a small celebration and call all our old neighbours as well as people from Metlifecare in Pakuranga where Peggy was living in an apartment till she had a fall last month.”

Mrs Davies, with neighbour Sheila Newbury, 82, approached New World to arrange for savouries and was very pleased when the supermarket offered to sponsor a sweet and savoury spread for the centenarian’s birthday celebration.

They also made a collage of her old pictures and asked Mrs Rooney (who suffers from Alzheimer’s) if she recognised anyone.

Looking at her own picture on the wall, the birthday girl dressed up in pretty pink with her hair and nails done up, said “it’s the Queen of England”, which had everyone share a good laugh.

While the congratulatory message from the Queen was lost in post with the change of address, Mrs Rooney received a letter from outgoing Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson, acknowledging her milestone birthday.

There was a constant stream of well wishers at the Tui Lounge in Howick Baptist Hospital despite severe weather warnings about Cyclone Cook storming the city.

Someone popped the champagne, two cakes were cut and the neighbours got together to share anecdotes and sing Irish songs—all celebrating Mrs Rooney’s life as she turned 100.

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