Special party as Muriel celebrates 107th birthday

Muriel Gardner celebrated her 107th birthday with her son Michael and daughter-in-law Margaret, family friends and staff from St Anne's care home.
 Picture by Jane Coltman
Muriel Gardner celebrated her 107th birthday with her son Michael and daughter-in-law Margaret, family friends and staff from St Anne's care home. Picture by Jane Coltman

A special birthday party was held in honour of a remarkable woman celebrating her 107th birthday.

Family, friends and staff came together to mark Muriel Gardner’s big day at St Anne’s Care Home, in Whitley Bay.

Her family had flown over from Australia to join in the celebrations.

As the Second World War was ending, Muriel and her first husband ran a displaced persons camp in Germany for two years.

She cared for refugees in the refugee camp in Hanaue, with many of them continuing to write to her for years afterwards from all over the world, including after they had moved to countries such as America and Canada.

Muriel was able to help refugees with their education and teaching them about trades to help get back on their feet and find jobs.

Her son Michael said: “Our friends marvel when they hear Muriel will be having her 107th birthday. We marvel too especially as we know what a full life she has led and how many people she has helped.

“For years, the family knew of all her great knowledge of heraldry but did not understand her scope and ability until my wife Margaret accompanied her to meetings where she would give extremely witty speeches and then was able to answer in a clear educative, knowledgeable and amusing fashion all the questions that were fired at her.

“She was assisted by my father who became the photographer for her heraldic talks.”

Muriel has two sons, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.