Housing Executive top tenant turns 100!

A man holds a bunch of flowers, in the compoany of several other people.
Pictured from left is the Housing Executive’s North Belfast Area Manager, Gerard Flynn, Louisa Wilson who recently celebrated her 100th birthday and her daughter-in-law Rhoda and son, Jim.

Housing Executive tenant, Louisa Wilson who recently celebrated her 100th birthday, says the key to a long life is “to enjoy a wee tipple, or two!”

Louisa, who has lived in Sunningdale Gardens, North Belfast for nearly five decades, still manages independently in her home.

As well as marking her special birthday on 12 April, we congratulated Louisa as having one of the Housing Executive’s longest tenancies on record.  

Born on the Crumlin Road, Louisa later moved to Rosebank Street when she married her late husband, Jimmy in 1940 and they had one son, named Jim. 

Louisa worked in Goorwitch’s Fashion, Belfast in their millinery department and in the Arcade at Donegal Place.

During the mid-seventies, the couple then moved to a ground floor flat in Sunningdale Gardens – a more accessible home for Jimmy who had mobility issues.

Jim, who helps to care for his mum, along with his wife Rhoda and daughter, Karen is a former Housing Executive employee.

He worked in the Chief Executive’s office and had a number of different roles within the organisation for over 25 years before his retirement. 

Jim said; “Mum’s birthday celebrations lasted a total of four days – thanks to a weekend of glorious sunshine. 

“Members of the congregation from Eglinton Presbyterian Church also took part in a drive-by horn blowing celebration for mum and made a fuss of her.

“She is hugely independent and really enjoyed the socially distanced celebrations and the Housing Executive has been very good to mum and looked after her well over the years.”

Louisa, who is grandmother to Karen and Robert and great-grandmother to Adam, Rachel, Philip and Mark, said she had a “wonderful” birthday. 

“After a difficult year with Covid-19 and not being able to see a lot of people, it was lovely being able to celebrate outside with everyone. 

“A piper from the church also came and played outside my house too and it was so nice to see everyone making a fuss.

“I got so many flowers and boxes of chocolates and sweets and it was also lovely to get my letter from the Queen and Irish President, Michael D Higgins,” she added. 

Housing Executive Area Manager for North Belfast, Gerard Flynn called with Louisa to congratulate her on her long tenancy and becoming a centenarian. 

He said; “It has been a pleasure getting to know Louisa and her family. She is an excellent tenant and I am delighted that Louisa had a wonderful birthday and was able to spend it with her loved ones. 

“Sunningdale Gardens has a very close-knit community and it is great to hear that Louisa can still engage with her neighbours and they look after one another too. A big happy birthday once again to Louisa and I wish her many more to come!”  

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