Neighbourhood bash turns into a 100th birthday party

The Oxford Times: he Barton Bash has been moved to mark the 100th birthday of the estate’s oldest resident Dorothy Pearce, right, with event organiser Sue Holden at Barton Neighbourhood Centre Buy this photo he Barton Bash has been moved to mark the 100th birthday of the estate’s oldest resident Dorothy Pearce, right, with event organiser Sue Holden at Barton Neighbourhood Centre

AN ESTATE’S annual party has been moved to honour the 100th birthday of its oldest resident.

Dorothy Pearce will celebrate the milestone at the Barton Bash next month.

Usually the event is held in August but organisers, the Barton Community Association, shifted it for a double celebration.

Association secretary Sue Holden said it would be a fitting honour as the 99-year-old, who has lived in Meadow Brook for 41 years, gave up a lot of her time to volunteer to run the raffle at the estate’s weekly bingo evenings.

She said: “We realised Dorothy’s centenary was lurking and it fell on a Saturday so it worked perfectly for us.

“It is not only to celebrate her being 100 but also the fact she has been volunteering for the association for many years and continues to do so.

“She is very loyal and committed and has given her time freely for many years. The community has been her family.”

The Barton Bash – which includes free activities for children – will take place at the Neighbourhood Centre in Underhill Circus on Saturday, June 28.

This year the event will feature cookery workshops and street dance demonstrations.

Mrs Holden added: “The lovely thing is nobody is excluded – it is open to all ages and all cultures.”

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Ms Pearce, who never married, said she was excited about the event and had not realised it would be on her big day.

She said: “I did not know it was going to be on my birthday. That is a surprise.”

She said the centre had become a big part of her life, adding: “People are friendly here. I have been in Barton since 1973 and I have been going down the centre nearly all that time.

“My family live down in Wales so I have made it my home in Barton.”

Ms Pearce has recently learned how to use an iPad and stays in touch with her family via email and Skype. She also plays games on the device.

Mrs Holden added: “She is really tuned-in to everything. The fact she is using an iPad at nearly 100 speaks volumes.”

Van Coulter, Oxford City Council member for Barton and Sandhills, welcomed the move to honour Ms Pearce.

He said: “She is very well recognised and very well respected in Barton. It is going to be a day she should remember and rightly so for what she has given the community.”

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