PORTADOWN woman Maud Johnston celebrated her 100th birthday recently.
Born Marjorie (Maud) Kathleen Magee on September 3, 1912 in County Cavan, Maud lived there with her parents and four siblings until she married Samuel Johnston, a railway clerk, in 1932 in Cavan then moved to Cloverhill, Belturbet Co Cavan.
She had two children born at Cloverhill, William (Billy) and Dorothy. Due to her husband being transferred with his job they were moved to Strabane, Co Tyrone where she lived until 1937. They then moved to Annaghmore where they spent many happy years and made many life long friends who Maud still remembers today.
Maud worked for a number of years in the well know Bates Factory which employed many people in the Annaghmore and Portadown area and during this time the family moved to Derryhale where Maud’s son Billy still lives.
Unfortunately in 1966 Samuel died, leaving Maud a widow at the age of 54. At this time and needing to provide for her family, Maud began driving lessons and passed her test at the age of 55.
She then found employment in the well known coffee lounge on Market Street in Portadown where she remained until her late retirement at the age of 70. Maud made many friends throughout her working life, some of those still call with her today she was also known out and about in her car until an arm injury forced her to stop driving at the age of 93. Maud has remained steadfast to her faith throughout her many years through hardship and troubled times and is still a member of Portadown Independent Methodist Church who held a praise service evening for her on Sunday, September 2. Maud was called upon to give of her testament which she did with great delivery given her age. Maud has been the head of a very strong family unit and is still known to lay down the law on occasion!
Her son Billy Johnston, daughter-in-law Gretta, daughter Dorothy and late husband Bertie Purdy, six grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and one great, great grandson have only praise for a wonderful mother and grandmother who has been known by many to be of a generous kindly nature willing to give to others in times of need.
Her family had a wonderful evening for Maud to celebrate her birthday and were joined by Mayor of Craigavon, Councillor Carla Lockhart, Upper Bann MP David Simpson and Ald Stephen Moutray, who joined in the celebrations to mark a wonderful occasion for a wonderful highly respected lady.