'She's a good person to have in your pub quiz team': New Malden care home resident marks 106th birthday with tea party

Thelma Brown, Hilda Mathie and mayor Penny Shelton, with friends and children from Burlington School in the background.

Thelma Brown, Hilda Mathie and mayor Penny Shelton, with friends and children from Burlington School in the background.

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy editor - Kingston

Distant relatives, close friends and neighbouring schoolchildren paid a visit to a New Malden care home resident as she celebrated her 106th birthday.

Hilda Mathie marked her special day on Monday, February 24, with an afternoon tea party at Hobkirk House in Blagdon Road, where she has lived for the past seven years.

She was joined by year 6 children from Burlington School, who visit the care home every Friday, and a group of friends who travelled from Holland to be there.

Kingston mayor Penny Shelton and her sister, the mayoress Hilary Saw, also paid a visit.

Thelma Brown, distant cousin and Mrs Mathie’s last surviving relative, also attended with her two daughters.

Hobkirk House manager Lorna Vanson said: “Hilda didn’t want a big fuss, we just had an afternoon tea party, which she loved.

“We work with children at Burlington School every Friday, but they came in on her birthday to see her and brought flowers. They see her every week and they know her very well.

“She had some very close friends come over from Holland to see her, and her only surviving relative, a distant cousin, came over with her two daughters.”

Surrey Comet:

Hilda Mathie was described as 'a good person to have in your pub quiz team'

Mrs Mathie has lived in the borough all her life, firstly in Chessington and then in Surbiton.

She was living independently until the age of 99, when she moved to Hobkirk House.

Ms Vanson added: “She’s still very independent, she loves singing, and she’s a really, really good person to have in a pub quiz team, because she knows the most obscure answers to everything.

“She’s the first to participate and she loves her audio books, as her hearing has started to go.

“She’s a great person to have at the home.”

Coun Shelton has even secured an invite to Mrs Mathie’s 107th birthday next year, Ms Vanson said.

“She asked the mayor if she could attend next year too,” she added.


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