A resident at Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court, in Porthcawl, has celebrated her 101st birthday. Roma Davies enjoyed a celebration with her fellow residents and staff at the Home, along with a wonderful cake and a harpist, who played some of Roma’s favourite tunes.
Resident Roma Davies with her sister Gwyneth, who moved to Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court in 2020. Gwyneth will turn 100 later this year.
Roma was born on 26 June 1921 in Hakin, Milford Haven, where she went to school and lived with her parents, her sister and her great aunt. She was taught to knit at aged three, and had just turned 18 when the Second World War started. She recalls:
There was no food, and clothes had to be altered. I remember making pillow cases out of old sheets.
Despite the hardships, Roma claims:
If you don’t go through the hard times, then you won’t learn to appreciate things.
Although Roma spent her entire childhood in the same area, soon after she would see the world. When she married Frederick, who was an inspector for the Naval Ordinance, they moved to Kenya, where they spent three years. The couple travelled extensively around East Africa and even walked the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in the continent. Shortly after, the couple had three children: Richard, Peter and Freda.
A life of service
On their return from Kenya, Roma and her family would enjoy camping all around Great Britain. This led her to take a post in the Girl Guides, where she stayed for 15 years, starting as a Lieutenant and then becoming a Captain.
A tireless activist throughout her life, Roma joined the National Federation of Women’s Institute at 65 and became a founding member of the Women’s Institute in Milford Haven. She arranged many activities to advance the education of women and girls and even became president on several occasions.
Her involvement in such initiatives led Roma to win an award in her home town, which recognised her outstanding contributions to Milford Haven. Likewise, Pembrokeshire Council awarded her for her contributions to intergenerational activities in the local area.
Roma sadly lost her husband when she was 80. She said:
Fred was a marvellous husband and I was so blessed to spend my life with him.
Despite her loss, she kept active in the following years. At aged 88, Roma took up computer lessons so that she could communicate with her loved ones through email and video calls, and even took many of her Women’s Institute friends with her on the course. When asked about how she stays young, she said:
I keep my mind active by reading books! But I also like to take part in various activities that I enjoy, and I think it’s important to keep my interests up-to-date.
Roma took up computer lessons so that she could communicate with her loved ones.
Roma moved into Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court in 2018 and was joined by her sister Gwyneth in 2020. Lee Haymer, one of the care home’s Activities Coordinators, said:
Roma is an incredible individual. She has experienced so many things in life, through the good times and in adversity, and has great insight and knowledge to share. It is always a pleasure to work with Roma during the many activities she attends. She is a strong character and a respected member of our community.
Roma gave a series of tips to the younger generations:
Take things in life as they come, and make the best of them. Have faith in something, not just religion. Don’t want more than you have, and don’t worry about what others have. And, finally, look for the good in everybody!
Alison Aberdeen, the Home Manager, said:
Roma is a strong woman and a valued member of the Home. She has great respect from everyone who knows her.
[Summary: Roma Davies, a resident at Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court, in Porthcawl, celebrates her 101st birthday. Roma, a tireless activist, gives advice to younger people.]