Wembley resident celebrates her 99th birthday in style

Birthday celebrations: Lucy Granderson, Arlene Jones, Ethel Gooden, Nick Douglas of BAME Labour Blac

Birthday celebrations: Lucy Granderson, Arlene Jones, Ethel Gooden, Nick Douglas of BAME Labour Black Asian Minority Ethnicity, Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye, Friday Olakunle and Gladys Abudalai. Picture credit: Jan Nevill - Credit: Archant

Sharing a birthday cake with friends was the order of the day when Ethel Gooden of Wembley celebrated an incredible 99 years on September 10.

Mrs Gooden, who lives at Copland Nursing Home in Copland Avenue, was born in 1912, the same year Titanic sank on its maiden voyage to New York and singer Perry Como and dancer Gene Kelly were born,

Mrs Gooden, who is orginally from Jamaica, said: “Sometimes I never thought I will get there as most of my people that I came here with have all gone ahead.

“I came here over 60 years ago.

“Life has never been easy, yet my God has seen me through.


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“I take this opportunity to thank all those who gave me food and accommodation when I first came.

Mrs Gooden paid special tribute to Dame Betty Asafu-Adjaye, who runs the Mission Dine Club in Harlesden.

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“When I retired years ago, I started attending other day care clubs but when I was introduced to Mission Dine Club, I settled in as everyone at MDC Centre was real family.

“We called each other, visited one another and at the club we told different stories.”

“Dame Betty is a mother, a sister, a friend and all.

“She never visits without bringing food, drink, sweets and her love.

“I do pray for her all the time.

“I love her dearly and I call her my daughter as I don’t have any family. Ethel thanked everyone for helped to arrange her birthday party.

“May God bless all those who have helped me,” she said.

Gladys Abudalai, the nurse in charge at the home, said: “It was very nice.

“She cut the cake with her friends and really enjoyed herself, she was very excited.”

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