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Double delight for centenarians

PUBLISHED: 21:19 30 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:14 06 July 2010

THERE were double celebrations in Lowes-toft as two women celebrated their 100th birthdays on the same day.

Family and friends of Hilda Bryden travelled from all over the country to help celebrate her birthday.

THERE were double celebrations in Lowes-toft as two women celebrated their 100th birthdays on the same day.

Family and friends of Hilda Bryden travelled from all over the country to help celebrate her birthday.

Mrs Bryden, of London Road South, was born in Bradford on April 18, 1910, and after leaving school began working in the city's famous “rag trade”. However, while studying at evening classes she met Harry Bryden, and the couple were later married in February 1938.

A year earlier, Mr Bryden had been ordained in the Church of England, and the couple moved around the country to various parishes.

During the war years the couple were living in Leigh, Lancashire, which was often a target for Hitler's bombers.

Later, they were at various locations, including Westgate-on-Sea, in Kent, the Forest

of Dean and Yorkshire. Then in 1959 they moved to Suffolk when Mr Bryden became rector of Rushmere, Gisleham and Mutford.

Throughout his ministry Mr Bryden was always supported by his wife, who was happy to act as “unpaid curate”, often running the Mothers' Union and Sunday schools.

When they retired in 1976 they moved back to the Lowestoft area that they had enjoyed so much. After his death, Mr Bryden was buried in a churchyard in one of the parishes he had served.

Scores of people made the journey to Lowestoft to join Mr and Mrs Bryden's daughter Christine in celebrating the special birthday. “It was a wonderful celebration, and my mother was so pleased to see them all,” said Christine.

Across town, a great- grandmother celebrated her 100th birthday with her loved ones.

Connie Garrett had a party at her home in Wensum Gardens.

Mrs Garrett was born in north London and lived in Hertfordshire and County Durham before settling in Lowestoft 30 years ago.

One guest she was delighted to see was her granddaughter Heather, who had travelled from her home in Fort William, Scotland - a 1,000-mile round trip.

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