Happy 100th birthday jab for Pat

ONE Woking woman has more reason than most to celebrate receiving her COVID-19 vaccination.

Pat Berry had the jab on her 100th birthday last Friday, and revelled in the occasion by taking along her message from the Queen to show everyone at Epsom racecourse.

SPECIAL DAY – Pat Berry with her card from the Queen and celebratory badge

“It was pure coincidence that it should happen on her birthday,” said Pat’s grandson, Dan Berry. “She received her card from the Queen in the morning and took it with her to show off.

“The staff at the centre were fantastic with her. She did make sure they all knew, but they made a lovely fuss of her, and we even had the staff and volunteers singing Happy Birthday to her.

“She’s very sensible and pragmatic, and has known for a while now that her birthday would be a lot different this year.

 “In the circumstances it was as exciting a day as possible for her, and it worked out well, celebrating her birthday with the vaccination.

Pat receiving her vaccination at Epsom racecourse

“We drove over to pick her up and take her to Epsom, but she was really pleased to be getting the jab and it also gave us a good reason to see her on her birthday!

“In fact, I think she saw more people there than she’s seen in the past year.”

Pat has lived in Woking for 40 years, initially in St John’s and now on Constitution Hill.  She was involved, with her late husband, Harold, in helping to set up the Moorcroft Centre for the Community, and, before lockdown, was still a regular there.

Born in Halifax, Pat grew up in Wembley before moving to Mitcham.

During the Second World War she was a member of the Land Army, and a rat catcher. She took on those duties for Harrow Council and became known as the “Pied Piper of Harrow”, as her marriage notice in 1944 observed.

“Pat’s a remarkable woman,” Dan added. “She’s been registered blind for 25 years, and although Harold passed away in 1997, she still manages to live largely independently in her flat.

“I spoke to her over the weekend and she’s come through the jab absolutely fine, no ill effects at all.”

And for Pat, there is so much to be positive about. “Now that I’ve had my first vaccination there is some light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.

“Then perhaps I can get out a bit more and see my great grandchildren again.”

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