A surprise lunch for Grace on her 100th birthday

On the day that Tweedmouth resident Grace Friar became a centenarian, she was “absolutely overwhelmed” that a celebration was organised in her honour at the place where she has volunteered for almost 10 years.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 9:36 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 9:37 am
Grace Friar, sitting beneath her portrait photograph from her Women's Royal Naval Service, and others at the lunch. Picture by Canon Alan Hughes.
Grace Friar, sitting beneath her portrait photograph from her Women's Royal Naval Service, and others at the lunch. Picture by Canon Alan Hughes.

She is part of the team at the Salvation Army’s Harvestfield Furniture Project in Berwick (Ramparts Business Park) and she went along for a shift on her 100th birthday last Friday.

To mark her contribution to the community, which has been reflected in recent years with prestigious awards such as a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s New Year’s honours a couple of years ago, a surprise lunch was arranged.

Salvation Army Divisional Commander Carol Bailey, left on top table, and local Berwick Salvation Army Officer Timon Stettler, left on the other table pictured, were among those in attendance.

At Harvestfield, Grace has helped customers with altering or mending their own clothes – whether purchased from the project or not – and has also, on occasions, bought vulnerable and needy customers clothing using her own money.

She said: “It was a lovely surprise.

“I was absolutely overwhelmed – it’s really nice that they cared to take so much time to organise the celebration lunch.

“They are wonderful people to work with and I will keep going at Harvestfield for as long as I can because I thoroughly enjoy volunteering there.”

Grace has had a busy few days meeting up with friends and she was also very pleased to receive a telegram from the Queen.

She joined the Women's Royal Naval Service in 1940 at the age of 18 where she was stationed at a naval hospital.

In 1950, she began doing voluntary work in her spare time from her job as a furniture upholsterer.

After her husband, John, died, Grace went along to a coffee morning at the Salvation Army community church in Berwick.

They were short of staff, so she volunteered to help out and has been involved ever since.

She has also collected funds for the Royal British Legion for over 60 years.

For the lunch on Friday, Morrisons provided the cakes and scones and the Upper Circle costume hire of Kelso supplied the vintage costumes.