Family party for 100-year-old

wet  100 year old Lilian Rhodes.  (111114M1b)
wet 100 year old Lilian Rhodes. (111114M1b)

KING George V and Queeen Mary were crowned and the doomed Titanic was launched at Belfast in this year.

And on November 14, 1911 Wetherby resident Lilian Rhodes was born in Queensbury near Bradford.

Last weekend Mrs Rhodes celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends at Ashfield Nursing home in Wetherby where she has lived after moving out of her own home last summer.

Son David told the Wetherby News: “My mother is just amazing.

“Her mental faculties are sharp.

“She comes from a long lived family. Most were in their eighties when they died and she has a surviving sister, who is 90.”

Mr Rhodes said about five years ago his mother was called on to make an impromptu speech while at a meeting.

“When we returned home she wrote it down and I asked why. She said she might need it again.”

Family gathered for a party at the home from across the world to mark the occasion, with great grandchildren flying in from Portland, Oregon, USA, for the weekend.

Mr Rhodes added: “It has been a real family occasion.

“Our grateful thanks are due to everyone at Ashfield for making this gathering possible.”

The daughter of a farm bailiff and one of ten children, the teenage Lilian Jagger won a single scholarship to Bradford Grammar School instead of following most girls into the mills.

Lilian married engineer Willie Watson Rhodes at Clayton Parish, Bradford, in 1935 and the couple moved to Wetherby in 1945 when Willie started work for the Ministry at the Royal Ordnance Factory at Thorpe Arch.

Willie died just short of the couple’s 70th anniversary in 2004.

In the 1950s Mrs Rhodes started work as a house rating officer, today’s equivalent of a council tax officer, for the civil service and retired from the job in the early 1970s.

She was also a founder member of the women’s freemasonry movement in Yorkshire, previously a male dominated body, and is still a member today.

The couple had a son David (75), who now lives in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and daughter Mary (74), who lives in Wetherby.

Mrs Rhodes also has two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.