The Mayor of Farnham, Councillor Mike Hodge, had the very special honour of opening a 100th birthday card from HM The Queen this week. Although it is some way off his own centenary, he was invited to open the card and read it to its real recipient, Farnham resident, Nancy Kerry at her 100th birthday party on Wednesday (19 July). As well as the Mayor, Nancy was joined by family and friends at the packed-out party.

Nancy, who turned 100 on the day of her party, was born during the First World War in Scotland. Born Nancy Motson, she was one of five children in a family with very little money and spent her early years in Kilmarnock. Nancy and her family moved around in search of work, eventually settling in Aldershot (via Glasgow). Despite missing out on schooling because her family couldn’t afford to send her, she found work at age 14 in the wages department of Gale and Polden, a large printing company and the main local employer at the time. She later met her husband, Harry, who also worked for the company, and they began married life sharing a home with numerous other family members and a lodger.

“Helping Nancy celebrate her 100th birthday has been one of the highlights of my time as Mayor so far. Her life to date has been absolutely fascinating – she has witnessed so much during her lifetime and her story is one of resilience and adaptability; we forget how tough life was 100 or even 80 years ago – and she’s still going strong. I’m honoured to have been a part of such a special day for her and her family and I wish her many happy returns,” says the Mayor, Councillor Hodge.

Nancy was described as the ‘enabler’ in the family, encouraging her husband to work his way up through Gale and Polden. Harry Kerry eventually became managing director of the company in the 1960s and Nancy became active in the community in her own right after her three sons left home. She organised a lunch club for 30 years in Aldershot and received a special award from Rushmoor Borough Council in recognition of her work.

Harry and Nancy moved to Farnham in 1987 and, after 73 years of marriage, in 2013 Harry passed away shortly before his 100th birthday. Nancy has continued to enjoy a busy social life with her friends and remains active at lunch clubs with her church. She has three sons, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and a host of step-grandchildren and step great grandchildren.

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