Very few of us will ever to get to spend the kind of day Emily Smith enjoyed at the Metropolitan Tabernacle on Sunday 17th March.
It was of course, Saint Patrick’s Day, but while many were celebrating a cultural and religious holiday in recognition of the patron saint of Ireland, Emily was still celebrating her 100th birthday earlier in the week.
A faithful member of the church, Emily was presented with a gift by Pastor William McTernaghan before the service got underway in earnest and Pastor Norman Hobson also duly presented her with large bouquet of flowers. Using one of the church microphones, Emily tried to voice her appreciation to all, but was instead drowned out by applause from the congregation. When the ovation calmed, she showed some of the spirit which has kept her alive for over a century by giving exactly the same speech again. “Thank you all so much for this lovely surprise. I want to thank you all for making today so special for me and God bless you”, said an obviously delighted and surprised Emily.
The evergreen beauty from east Belfast looked incredible for her 100 years. Remarkably she’s still a regular at the Sunday morning breaking of bread service and is clearly enjoying life to the full. She’s been a member at the Tabernacle now for over 25 years, having previously attended the Iron Hall Mission. Of course, Emily has witnessed many major developments over the past 100 years, such as every key medical invention of the last century, including the very first heart transplant back in the 1960’s.
Born on 14th March, 1913, just consider some of the other events Emily’s been privileged to experience. She was alive during World War 1, the Battle of the Somme, The Easter Rising, the opening of the first self-service grocery store in the US. She can recall the opening of the first commercial radio station, women gaining the right to vote for the first time, the discovery of insulin and penicillin, the completion of the Empire State Building, the Battle of Britain, Pearl Harbour, Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech and the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Then there was the invention of the computer and the first camera, the founding of the State of Israel, the arrival of first credit card and colour TV and the great smog of 1952. Again Emily watched Queen Elizabeth taking the throne at the age of 25, the Cold War, the opening of Disneyland and the invention of the remote control. She remembers, too, Marilyn Munroe’s death, the assassination of JF Kennedy, Martin Luther King Junior’s assassination, the landing of the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, the death of Elvis Presley, the first test tube baby being born and John Lennon’s assassination.
More recently Emily recalls the falling of the Berlin Wall, the troubles in Northern Ireland, the building of the channel tunnel and the death of Princess Diana and of course, 911, to name most, but certainly not all, of the major events of the past century. What a period Emily has lived through, nevertheless at the age of 100 she’s still going strong and is testimony to God’s promise of longevity of life written in Psalm 91 and verse 16: “With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”
May God give her many more years of good health!
They’re calling her the miracle child of Nyeri, Kenya and no wonder!
Beatrice Nyambura, now 4 years and three months old, is not just walking, but running alone without help, having previously never taken a step in her life. Video footage of the child walking for the first time has both astonished and encouraged those who have worked tirelessly with the disabled child.
Almost everyone remembers charity super group Band Aid founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. The purpose was to raise funds for anti-poverty efforts in Africa by releasing the song “Do they know it’s Christmas?” “Feed the world, let them know it’s Christmas time” are still powerful lyrics which touch the heartstrings even to this day.