Kingfishers News

IN THE NEWS: Daughter’s visit brings birthday joy for Merrick, 101

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Celebrating Merrick Kearsey’s 101st birthday at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated New Milton care home, Kingfishers.

A personal visit from his ‘beautiful’ daughter sealed the perfect 101st birthday for a Hampshire care home resident.

Great-grandfather Merrick Kearsey was overjoyed to welcome his Susan Halle and her husband Michael for the celebration at Colten Care’s Outstanding-rated New Milton home, Kingfishers.

It follows more than a year of observing virus safety guidance which has impacted on face-to-face care home visits. 

As well as seeing Susan and Michael, Merrick opened dozens of cards and greetings sent in by family and friends.

There were also goodwill messages from residents at other care homes under a ‘pen pal’ initiative involving Kingfishers.

And the smiling birthday boy joined in the applause as a cake, specially baked by Kingfishers’ chefs, was brought direct to his room and presented by Home Manager Beata Brzozowska.

Born in Kent in spring 1920, Merrick worked in the office of an aeroplane manufacturer and then, for six years, at a cinema before serving in the army during World War II.

After returning to civilian life, he secured a job at a Kent oil refinery and went on to work there for more than a quarter of a century, retiring 41 years ago aged 60.

He met and married Doris in 1948. The couple had two daughters: Louise, who died aged 62, and Susan. Merrick has six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Asked what has been most important to him during his long life, Merrick said: “My family, always. I very much enjoyed my birthday and I loved seeing Susan and my son-in-law Michael.”

Kingfishers’ Companionship team member Rose Arcellana said: “It was lovely to see Merrick with Susan. He is a real family man and he often talks about his ‘beautiful daughter’. She is very much the apple of his eye. He also loves talking on the phone with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

Merrick is one of several centenarians at Kingfishers. In March, fellow residents Marjorie Nutton and Irene Harris celebrated their 100th and 104th birthdays respectively.    

Elsewhere at Colten Care, centenarian birthdays this year have included a 106th for Mabel Looker at Belmore Lodge in Lymington, a 105th for Iris Stowell at Braemar Lodge in Salisbury and a 106th for a lady at Outstanding-rated Canford Chase in Poole.

Across Colten’s whole group of 21 homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex, there are two 106-year-olds, three 105-year-olds and four residents aged 104.