A surprise delivery of more than 300 goodwill messages has cheered a Sherborne care home resident on her 100th birthday.
Staff at Colten Care’s Abbey View knew Marjorie Potter had only a few family members to help mark her big day, so they invited community contacts to send in cards too.
The well-wishers included school and nursery representatives, and members of the Postcards of Kindness social media initiative.
A remarkable 337 cards ended up being delivered to a very surprised Marjorie.
“I was thrilled,” said the former post office worker and boys’ school secretary. “It was all so unexpected. I couldn’t believe so many people wanted to wish me a happy birthday. I was presented with this huge pile of cards and I opened and read every one of them.”
As well as the postal delivery, Marjorie had a surprise Covid-safe visit from children at Sherborne’s Forget Me Not day nursery.
They brought along a card of their own and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ outside her window.
There were also Skype calls with relatives and friends, and a birthday cake specially baked by chefs at the home.
Abbey View Home Manager Sarah Harper said the aim of reaching out to the community was to gather and present 100 cards, one for each of Marjorie’s years.
“We couldn’t believe the response,” said Sarah. “We had gathered 318 cards by the morning of Marjorie’s birthday and the final count was an amazing 337. I thank everyone who contributed. It really made Marjorie feel very special. She is a quiet and genteel lady, always with a ready smile. The surprise she had on her birthday has kept that lovely smile going.”
Born in 1921 in Barry, South Wales, Marjorie went on to work at a local boys’ school there.
She met her husband, a police officer, in a Paignton dance hall while on holiday in 1954.
The couple moved around the south west, eventually settling in Dorset, and were married for 67 years.
Although she has no children of her own, Marjorie is very close to her two nephews.
Asked for her secret of longevity, Marjorie said: “Having good parents and a wonderful husband. Also, I’ve never smoked and I always kept myself fit by dancing.”