101 years in Bo'ness beats 30 years by a mile.

I've often told you I have the best job in the world. Today I was sad yet in the midst of the sadness I was inspired, as I conducted the funeral of a dear friend of mine. She was 101 years old and I have known her for 30 of those years. As I was conducting the service, I began to think how amazing the church family really is. Here was a woman who had spent 101 years being an active interested member of this congregation. For even when she appeared inactive due to advanced years, she was active in prayer for the congregation. From a child she had been brought up to love Jesus and nurtured in the Christian faith by godly parents. I think you should read what I said about Mary Mary was born on the 5.05.1910 she was one of seven children born to John and Christina McLaren. Having lived to the age of 101 she is now the last of her family. She was educated in Bo'ness and nurture in the Christian faith through the life and witness of her family and also this congregation. Mary was brought up when times were hard. Her father worked at the docks and many a day he came home without a job. In those days you turned up at the dock and you were employed on a daily basis. Often it wasn't what you knew but who you knew that got you the days work. many a day he returned home without a job. He was a man of strong principles, a socialist and a member of the temperance movement. He held to strict Christian beliefs, he refused the office of elder in this congregation, simply because he had no money to buy the pinstriped trousers and jacket that was required for those days. Thankfully that is no longer the case, we need to always be on the guard that we don't judge people by the clothes they wear or make preconditions as to what kind of people come through the church doors. Mary got her first job as many girls did in the Bo'ness Hosiery. During the war she worked in the docks, she often told me during those years she did a man's work. After the War Mary looked after her parents and worked in a number of shops in the town. She worked in Johnstone's the baker's shop, the she worked in Miss Web's hat shop, and for a time she also worked in John Mair's paper shop. Her spare time was taken up singing in the church choir, being a Sunday school teacher, and also as a member of Bo'ness Opera and of course the Woman's Guild. She also enjoyed going on holiday with her friends, holidays at Rothsay and Dunoon. She would also attend the pictures on a Saturday night from August to December, then when January came she was saving 2/6 every week for her Summer holidays. In 1957 Mary was a convinced spinster. She once told me she thought she would never get married. Then she met James, who was a widower, while serving in Mair's paper shop. He asked her out She told me she wasn't too sure about the whole thing to begin with but she went and discovered he was her Mr Right Right.I'm sure a storyline that this one features in an episode of Coronation Street. When she got married she stopped working in Mair's Shop, Jimmy was a tanker driver and he was often out on the road. They had twelve years of happy marriage, for a short time mary went back to shop keeping owning her own little fruit and veg shop, this lasted for a short time. Jimmy took ill and when he died she really nissed his companionship. Mary was a strong up right Christian woman, with high moral principles. She was proud of the town of Bo'ness, proud of her kirk, and devoted to her sister Peggy. As she got older she was afflicted with Tinitas which drove her mad at times and made it very difficult for her to attend church, especially when drums where being played. While she was in the nursing home She was wonderfully cared for by her family and especially Margaret her niece. She was proud that she had 5 neices and 3 nephews. But she always said she wished she had married earlier and had a daughter. The truth was that her family cared for her and showed a great deal of love and compassion to her. Today we saw a little bit of St Andrew's history completed as we laid a true saint of the church to rest.

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Posted By: Susan   On: 28 Oct 2011   At: 10:31pm

one special lady


Posted By: Name (required)   On: 28 Oct 2011   At: 9:08pm

I think I would have loved meeting Mary, she has such a lovely smile.



Posted By: marie alexander   On: 28 Oct 2011   At: 8:49am

How lucky you were to know this woman albert for the time you did , she sounds a lovely person and how amazing that she had 101 years here and im sure would have touched the lifes of many .it was so interesting hearing all about mary and her life thanks albert grin

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