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7-Mima-100-YOUTH

Mima reveals secret of her long life: bingo, Irn Bru and chips

One of Scotland’s oldest Catholics has received two papal blessings after celebrating her 100th birthday. — By RYAN MCDOUGALL

Mima Heaney, a member of St Luke’s Church in Bonnybridge, credited bingo, Irn Bru and chips as the secret to a long life, after receiving her two blessings from her parish and her children.

For her big day, St Luke’s held Mass celebrated by Fr Robert Hendrie and Canon Patrick Boylan, followed by a presentation and speech on behalf of the parish’s SVDP.

The speech included highlights and accolades of Mima’s life, including strong Faith.

They said: “Mima attended school in Kilsyth, and as I’m sure you all know we didn’t have a Catholic Church at that time so she attended Mass in Longcroft, then the old Banknock School and also Bankier Primary before our church was built.

“She has been a faithful parishioner and to have kept her Faith for 100 years is nothing short of outstanding.”

They continued: “I’m sure you would all agree with me that Mima is one in a million and a true inspiration to every one of us, and I feel blessed to be in the presence of our first centenarian.

“So from all your family, friends and fellow parishioners of St Luke’s Church, would you all please raise your glass and congratulate Mima on this momentous achievement.”

Upon receiving her papal blessings, Mima joked: “If I don’t get to Heaven it’s not my fault!”

Age hasn’t stopped her from doing the things she loves as Mima also celebrated by attending the bingo in both Falkirk and Cumbernauld, receiving over 200 birthday cards and several cakes, a delivery of Irn Bru from AG Barr, and a mention in the local newspaper.

Alongside her family and friends, she also enjoyed a day out at the Railway Inn in Bonnybridge, where she enjoyed some song and dance, including The Northern Lights of Aberdeen, her favourite traditional Scottish song.

She waited in for her telegram from the Queen, and had countless visitors throughout the day, including the provost of Falkirk, Billy Buchanan.

Born in Wyndford Lock, Mima lived through the Second World War and worked in Stein’s brickworks and later as a cleaner in the Big House in Banknock, before taking on a kitchen job in Glenskirlie House, a position she held until she finally retired at 76.

Mima said she believes that hard work and being truthful are important.

She and her husband Patrick had eight children together: Myra, John, Thomas, Anne, William, Bernadette, Peter and Jim.

She is now the grandmother of 10, a great-grandmother to eight and the great-great-grandmother of two.

On behalf of her family, her granddaughter Pamela McMahon said: “We’re all very blessed and thankful for having her here with us, and we all love her so much.”

She added: “Now the celebrations are almost over I’m sure she’ll be planning what to do next.

“In the coming weeks I’ll be taking her to Carfin Grotto for a visit as it’s a place she used to go every year in her younger days.”

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