SURPRISE GLENTORAN VISITOR WISHES JEAN A HAPPY SOCIALLY DISTANCED 100th BIRTHDAY
13 November 2020
People living at Giboney House housing with care in south Belfast have not let lockdown stop them celebrating their neighbour Jean's 100th birthday.
Jean celebrates her 100th Birthday with surprise visit from Glentoran Director with the Irish Cup
Jane Craig, also known as Jean, was born in 1920. She grew up on the Beersbridge Road with her siblings Sally, Isobel and John. Isobel also lives at Giboney House.
Jean was working as a weaver in a factory at just 14 years old, when she met her late husband Sammy, and they were married for 70 happy years. Sammy was a keen Glentoran Football Club fan and was one of the people who started up the Victoria Supporters Club. He was a member for 60 years. Through him, Jean also developed a love for the sport and the team, and she still asks how the mighty Glens are doing.
Jean with her sister Isobel, who both live in Giboney House housing with care in Belfast
Unfortunately, Jean's son, who lives in England, could not join his mum for her big birthday because of COVID-19 restrictions. So, knowing how much Jean loves Glentoran Football Club, the staff at Giboney House organised a surprise visit from Club Director Colin Jess, whilst still keeping to the current social distancing restrictions.
A surprised Jean said:
"I can't believe it. I'm so grateful for everything and getting to put my hands on the cup. My husband would have been so delighted. He and four of our friends set up the Victoria Glentoran Supports Club.
"It's a real shame my son can't be here to see this. He calls for a chat after lunch every day so I'll have some exciting news for him today. I just pray that he and his family stay safe."
Danielle Dawson, Home Manager at Giboney House said:
"We had hoped to throw a big party with family and friends for Jean's 100th birthday, but with how things are at the minute we were restricted in what we could do to celebrate. Our small group of residents at Giboney House have been isolating together in a bubble throughout lockdown and were excited to celebrate their friend Jean's big birthday.
"Knowing Jean's passion for all things Glentoran, we got in touch with the club and organised a safe visit with the Irish Cup that they won recently."
"For Clanmil, the coronavirus pandemic has meant quickly finding new ways of working so that we can continue to safely provide great homes and the services that our tenants rely on. We're glad we could still put a smile on Jean's face on her big day."
Colin Jess, Director of Glentoran FC had this to say:
"Glentoran Football Club is proud of its relationship with the local community and our fans. It was lovely to be part of Jean's big birthday celebration. Loyal fans like Jean make it all worth it and it's even better when we can celebrate our wins together."