Palma.—There was a true cross-community celebration yesterday when Englishwoman Florence Maiden celebrated her 100th birthday at the home for the eldery in Calvia.

At 11am, the Deputy Mayor of Calvia Miguel Bonet arrived to congratulate her with the aid of an interpreter, and a specially composed poem was read for Florence by Angie Guerrero, from Calvia's Foreigners' department.

Cake and champagne were shared out amongst Florence's family who had come over from England, bringing with them her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Ex Calvia Social Services Assistant, Marie Robinson said that the joy of the occasion was heightened by all other residents of the home enthusiastically joining in the get-together. They apparently threw themselves into the spirit of the party, showering Florence with gifts and affection regardless of language barriers.

The crowning moment of yesterday mornings festivity was the opening of a special envelope containing a telegram from the Queen which had been organised by Florence's son and handed to the birthday-girl by staff from the British consulate in Palma. To record the occasion, there was a camera crew out from London using the 100th birthday event as part of an ongoing report on British consulate services abroad.

The partying continued until late in the afternoon.

Florence had come to Majorca at the age of 70 and lived most of the next 30 years in the El Toro district in Palma. Two years after arriving on the island, her husband sadly died, and her daughter who had worked extensively in the real estate industry on the island died just a few years later.

Social Services in Calvia have recommended that people coming to retire in Spain should develop some knowledge of the language so that when the time comes for them to be given help by local authorities, assistance is that much easier.


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