Ton up for ‘wee saint Kathleen’

By Gemma Burns

A North Belfast great grandmother is set to celebrate her centenary this weekend by blowing out the candles on her 100th birthday cake. Ardoyne woman Kathleen Pyper will turn 100 on Saturday and her large family will be holding a special party at her Northwick Drive home in her honour.

The mother of four, grandmother of 17 and great grandmother of 35 has lived in Ardoyne for more than 70 years.

Kathleen’s daughter Brigid said her mother had worked as a cook in The Lombard in Rosemary Street for most of her life and is known as a quiet and unassuming woman.

“She never complains and never grumbles. She is just a person who has always concentrated on her family,” she said.

“I call her the wee saint because she hasn’t a bad word to say. She always had great memories of Belfast’s history like what it was like during the Blitz and even about riots in the 1930s, as well as the Troubles of course.”

The centenarian is looking forward to her family party on Saturday and celebrating her big day.

“All the family will be here on Saturday to have our own wee party for her,’ she said.

“People have been calling in already with cards and flowers for her so she’s delighted. She doesn’t like too much fuss so this is perfect for her.”

Kathleen, who never drank alcohol but smoked until she was 66 years old, still takes an active interest in current affairs and listens to the Stephen Nolan Show on the radio every day.

And what is the secret to a long life according to the centenarian?

“A lot of hard work,” she said.

 

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