Sybil is still the belle of the ball

When Jack Lea became WM of Corinthian Lodge No 2350 in 1975 the ladies evening was a splendid affair. There were over 120 attendees; a full programme of events, including an afternoon whist session and a welcoming reception.

Sybil receives her telegram from the Queen.

Sybil receives her telegram from the Queen.

The ladies all wore beautiful ball gowns and gloves to the elbow. A full dance band provided evening entertainment with a pair of singers, until breakfast was served at midnight. Friendship and happiness reigned. The lady of honour, of course, was his wife Sybil. She was thrilled by the occasion and despite the passing of the years, these memories live on.

Unfortunately, Jack passed away some years ago but Sybil, his widow, has just celebrated her very special birthday, the one that sees a very special message from the Queen. 100 years young, Sybil is a resident of the Lodge care home near Chorley and the residents and staff were delighted to organise a 1940s themed party for her.

Entertainment and games were organised by local artiste Poppy Holiday, who sang a selection of songs from the 1940s and 60/70s, wearing costumes of those times. Everyone was delighted to celebrate this wonderful day and once again Sybil was the lady of honour.

Sybil having a rest after the excitement.

Sybil having a rest after the excitement.

The current WM of Corinthian Lodge, Stanley Fairhurst and his wife Joyce, along with the almoner, Alan Johnston and his wife Mary, were pleased to join in those celebrations and presented Sybil with a large floral display to mark her very special birthday. They also presented her with a congratulatory framed picture of lodge members, which was then placed alongside the telegram from the Queen.

Sybil was born in 1919 in Tadcaster, near York. However, when she was 13 her father Jim, walked over the Pennines to Lancashire to find work in the Lancashire coal mines. Having managed to secure work, albeit in these foreign fields, he brought the family to join him and they all settled in Lancashire. Sybil left school, aged 14 and started work in a sewing factory. However, she soon left the factory and went into service in the Lake District.

She met her future husband Jack when she was 15 and they married in the early 1940s. Sybil was noted for her beauty and always being smartly dressed. Aged 100, Sybil still takes great pride in her appearance and has the looks and the demeanour of a much younger lady. Regrettably, she has had some health difficulties and memory problems in recent times, but can still manage to happily reflect on the wonderful years she shared with Jack at Hindley Masonic hall.

Pictured from left to right, are: Joyce and Stanley Fairhurst, Sybil Lea and Mary and Alan Johnston.

Pictured from left to right, are: Joyce and Stanley Fairhurst, Sybil Lea and Mary and Alan Johnston.