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Congratulations to Mrs Ibbotson on the Occasion of her 100th Birthday on 3rd November 2009

Born Margaret Edna Pattinson on 03-11-1909, in Thornly, Walsingham, County Durham, UK.She is known to some people as Pat - a leftover from her school days, - but her favoured name is "Ibby", or Mrs Ibby. She is an only child and she was brought up on a farm, run by her Mother as her Father worked in the coal mines. After school hours she had chores to do on the farm, and on leaving school she taught needlework.

She can't remember now the exact date she came out to live in Africa but it was on a boat trip back to the UK on holiday in 1939 that she met her husband -to-be, the Reverend Percy Ibbotson.After a whirlwind romance of only a couple of months, during which time she hardly saw Percy as they were both holidaying with their families in different parts of the country, Percy proposed to her by letter.....she accepted! He sailed back to Cape Town on an earlier boat as he had missionary business to attend to, but he made arrangements for their wedding to take place the day after she was due back by ship. However she had developed dreadful toothache and refused to be married until the tooth had been attended to! They were married the day after the planned date and spent a month in Cape Town with missionary friends before returning to Bulawayo.

They had one son, Anthony, who was the light of Ibby's life. He grew up and went to school in Bulawayo, before moving to Paris and getting a PhD in french from the Sorbonne. He eventually moved to Canada and Ibby enjoyed traveling to spend many holidays with him and his friends before he died at a relatively young age.

Percy served in the Government of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and was the Minister of Native Affairs as it was then. He died shortly after that. Although Ibby taught needlework and handcrafts at the Percy Ibbotson Home in Luveve, opened by her husband, it was "for free and for nothing". On his death she needed to earn her living so she moved to the world of Commerce , working for many years at Iscor, then IMF Machinery Company.She supported herself for more than 50 years.

Ibby is a very strong and independent lady even now, and she owes her longevity to an active mind and great fitness of body.She gets very impatient with herself when she forgets things and refuses to believe that it could be a sign of old age !! She travelled overseas every year well into her late eighties and loves to talk to people with a like interest.She can relate the most interesting stories about her travels around the world - her proudest holiday being the one she won in a radio competition here in Bulawayo! She loved walking (as she did to school and back as a child) and kept herself fit by walking from her flat in the then Borrow Street up to the Public Library in Fort Street, to Haddon and Sly to do her grocery shopping, to the hairdresser in the Monte Carlo Centre, to her doctors and dentist.When she moved into Queen Mary Home just a few years ago she would walk to Solomons Supermarket and also back from the City Hall carpark. That had to be stopped because of concern for her safety so she took to walking around the perimeter of "the firm" as she called Queen Mary, three or four circuits at a time.She still sits ramrod straight in her chair, as taught her by her mother, and is very proud of this accomplishment. A truly remarkable old lady whom it has been our privilege to know, and we congratulate her on this amazing achievement of reaching her 100th Birthday.

If anyone would like to send Mrs Ibby a message of congratulations this week we would be happy to print them out and give them to her, along with her card from the Queen, on her birthday next Tuesday 3rd November. Thank you.

Val email colvale @
Clare email ccampbell @