Guernsey’s Oldest Resident Turns 108

19th November 2017

Guernsey’s oldest resident is turning 108 today!

Mrs Ruth Berry was born Ruth Simon in 1909. She has lived through both World Wars and was among the many thousands of people evacuated from Guernsey during the Occupation. She travelled to England with her three young children and you can read her story on Gillian Mawson’s website here.

Ruth Berry on her 105th birthday in 2014

Mrs Berry on her 105th birthday in 2014

Having spent years in St Helen’s in Lancashire and then on the south coast of England, which she later told her son was a ‘terrible time’, she returned to Guernsey and was heavily involved in her local church when her children and grandchildren were growing up.

Mrs Berry has also been an award winning jam maker and only stopped making her own in recent years.

She is said to be in good health, but we’re told she is ‘less active these days’.

Speaking to Island FM in 2016, her son, former States member Roger Berry, said he didn’t expect her 107th birthday to be her last. When we spoke to him on Friday he confirmed she would be celebrating her 108th birthday on Sunday 19th November.

Mr Berry did not wish to speak on tape but said his mother would be marking her special day with a family gathering including a birthday cake.

He has previously told Island FM his mother has no secret about living such a long life. He told us she has always enjoyed many of the things we are often told to avoid. Mr Berry said she has always eaten Guernsey and Sark butter, and preferred goats milk to cows milk. One of Mrs Berry’s sisters also lived to be more than 100.

Mrs Berry is believed to be Guernsey’s oldest resident but data protection rules have meant this can’t be confirmed officially. However, Island FM was told in 2016 there were only two people in the island over the age of 105 and only one of those was older than 106.

Mrs Berry will be celebrating her 108th birthday, and the accolade of being Guernsey’s oldest resident, with a family gathering with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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