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Great-great-gran’s 107th birthday

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A WOMAN who could well be Jersey’s oldest resident has recently celebrated her 107th birthday.

Beryl Le Gros with her son, John Le Gros, and daughter, Kay Hannaford, on either side of her, and other relatives at Maison La Corderie Picture: ROB CURRIE (19194521)

Beryl Le Gros marked the occasion on Tuesday with a party at the Maison La Corderie care home – where she has lived for the past six years – surrounded by three generations of her family.

And while she says she doesn’t have a secret to a long life, she admitted that she is still drinking her regular glass of Baileys – and enjoying a sweet treat or two, with chocolate chip cookies a particular favourite. She also loves eating fried onions – served with ‘whatever is going’, and praised the food at the home she lives in.

‘Oh yes, I still like my Baileys,’ she said, adding that 107 seemed like an ‘impossible age’.

Mrs Le Gros, whose husband Cyril died in 1985, is mother to John, Kay and the late Sonia, who died seven years ago, having celebrated her mother’s 100th birthday just a few weeks earlier.

Mrs Le Gros, who proudly says she reads the JEP every day, is a grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of nine and recently became a great-great-grandmother for the first time.

She said: ‘I was born here and have always lived in Jersey. I love Jersey all round. I like it when you go to the coast and you see the sea rolling in. I love the sea very much.’

Asked how Jersey has changed over the years, she said: ‘The sea and the sand is all the same. But the houses are all over the place. There are some very pretty ones and there are some that could be knocked down, really, but on the whole there are some very pretty houses in the Island.

‘There are a lot more people than there used to be and they have to have a house to live in.’

Mrs Le Gros, who was born in St Peter before moving to Trinity with her parents and then setting up her marital home in St Clement, went to Trinity School and trained as a teacher at the Jersey Pupil Teacher Centre. However, she says she ‘never really took to teaching’ and ended up working as an assistant at an accountancy firm.

She remained in the Island during the Occupation and described her family as ‘very lucky’, as her husband owned the Eastern Motorworks at Pontac and farmers would pay him with food to fix their machinery.

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