Alison's turn to be waited on after 100 years
A BRISTOL woman who has devoted her life to serving others was treated to a special celebration to mark her 100th birthday.
Alison Hele was born at Eastville Homes because her mother was unmarried when she was born in 1912, something frowned upon at the time.
Apart from a couple of visits from her mother when she was young, Miss Hele never knew any of her family.
Her working life was spent in service. But yesterday it was her turn to be waited on as an afternoon tea was held in honour of her reaching a century at Tyndale Baptist Church hall in Redland.
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About 50 people were invited to the celebration, including those for whom Miss Hele worked in the past, members of her church and the Lord Mayor Peter Main. The hall was decorated with bunting and strawberries and cream were served.
Miss Hele never married, never drank alcohol and never wore make-up and has made it to her landmark birthday despite a difficult start to life.
Chris Owens, service support worker for Places for People, which runs Tyndale Court, where Miss Hele lives, has known her for 20 years.
She said: "Alison was never married, the church has really been her family. She has got a beautiful picture of her mother, who did visit her a couple of times before she died.
"She must have some family and it would be lovely if they saw this and got in touch. I have never met anyone with her name before."
Miss Hele lived independently within the sheltered housing scheme until last year but Mrs Owens said that the 100-year-old's memory was now fading.
"She always spent her life looking after people," Mrs Owens said.
"Her birthday was on Sunday.
"We couldn't hold the party then so I took her to church. She had a lovely card from the Queen.
"She has never smoked and never drunk and I don't think she has ever worn make-up either. She has always been quite reserved. She used to do a lot of knitting, making dolls which used to go to different charities.
"Alison loved her gardening, which she always did. She likes things to look nice but always thought of other people really."
The furthest Miss Hele has ever travelled was to the Isle of Wight.
Mrs Owens said: "We toasted her with a piece of cake. I think it is amazing that people get to 100."