Birthday wishes from the Queen for Enfield centenarian

By Priya Kingsley-Adam in Local People

IT’S not every birthday Rosina Garnish receives a card from the Queen but the ardent royalist reached a very special milestone.

The great grandmother turned 100 from Ashridge Gardens,in Palmers Green, and had a joint celebration with her 72-year-old daughter, Sheila, who shares the same birthday on June 7.

“That’s a birthday present that lasts,” Rosina’s late husband Sid used to say.

Dozens of close friends and family members gathered for a garden party to celebrate the special occasion last Sunday (June 11).

“It was a fantastic day to spend together,” said Sheila, of Glebe Avenue, the oldest daughter of Rosina’s three children.

Rosina has been an Enfield resident for over 50 years but grew up in Hackney, north east London,with sisters Florence and Alice.

After finishing her training as a court dressmaker at trade school, Rosina’s first job was in Bond Street, London, where she had the honour of making a leather pair of gloves for Clementine, the wife of former prime minister Sir Winston Churchill.

The centenarian has been fond of the royal family ever since.

“I love them,” she said. “They are just like us. They are genuine people.”

At the age of 23 Rosina married Sid in 1939. The couple had three children – Sheila, Marion who is now 65 and Paul, 58. They first settled in Bowes Road for five years, in Arnos Grove, followed by Ashridge Gardens.

Alongside dress making from home, Rosina provided an after school club for 15 years where she cooked dinner for six children every evening during the week.

She was also a carer for elderly residents in the borough which her daughter Sheila said was part of her nature.

“She’s always enjoyed looking after people,” explained Sheila.

Neighbours knew they could always rely on Rosina to repair their clothes and regularly mended uniforms for members at her husband’s bowling club.

Rosina used to be a keen gardener and continued sewing until 98 years old when she developed a cataract which has affected her vision.

Rosina was married for 50 years and celebrated her diamond wedding anniversary a month before Sid passed away at 81.

She attributes her longevity to “luck” after her sisters passed away relatively young - Florence who was just 48 and Alice at 69.

Rosina enjoys reading romance novels and reciting poems at family gatherings including one of her favourites - Charles Kingsley’s My Little Doll.

“She still knows all the words which always impresses us all,” said Sheila.

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