110-year old could be Wales' oldest woman

Louisa Shephard celebrates her 110th birthday

Louisa Shephard celebrates her 110th birthday

First published in Search South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

A BLAENAVON woman, whose life has spanned three centuries, two world wars and six monarchs, could be the oldest woman in Wales.

Louisa Shephard celebrated her 110th birthday today at a party with family and friends at Arthur Jenkins residential home where she lives.

At this grand old age, Mrs Shephard is only two years younger than Britain’s oldest man, Henry Allingham, who celebrated his 112th birthday on June, 6.

Born in Garn-yr-Erw, Blaenavon, on September 14, 1898, Mrs Shephard has lived in the town all her life.

The only time she spent away from the area was a brief period spent working as a housekeeper in Pontarddulais to help raise her six brothers and one sister.

Mrs Shephard married her late husband Harold in 1930 and the couple had four daughters Maida, 76, Eileen, 75, Doreen, 73, and Rita, 70.

She has 10 grandchildren, two of whom are deceased, 17 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Her youngest daughter, Rita Pearce, described Mrs Shephard as a great mum and said the family were amazed that she had reached such an age.

She said: “Every year we think how can she keep going but she does, it’s wonderful.”

“When my father was alive we would sit with a glass of milk with a drop of whiskey in it and listen to opera music, perhaps that’s her secret to living so long.”

In her youth Mrs Shephard was a member of a local choir in Blaenavon and still enjoys music and singing.

On her 100th birthday in 1998 she received her first birthday message from the Queen and has received another every year since her 105th birthday, surpassing her goal of receiving four – one for each of her children.

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