AN Atherton pensioner was 23-years-old last week.
That’s because Phyllis Morris was born on February 29, 1920.
So although alive for 92 years she has celebrated her official birthday just 23 times.
Born in Howe Bridge, Phyllis was the youngest of three children and has always lived in the area.
She married her husband, Ernie, aged 20, and they ran a fish and chip shop just up the road from Belong Atherton, which she insists was “the best chippy in Atherton!”
A mother-of-five, grandmother-of-nine and great-grandmother-of-two, Phyllis remembers her parents hiring Briarcroft Hall in Atherton for big family parties when she was able to celebrate her real birthday.
She said: “It was my 23rd birthday on February 29, but I’m actually 92.
“I’ve been looking forward to spending time with my family but I don’t want a big fuss. I’d rather people didn’t sing to me, although I don’t mind having a balloon.”
Phyllis’ birthday was all the more special this year as she was joined by her five children at the Belong community village where she has lived since it opened in Spring 2011.
Her eldest daughter Christine travelled from Cornwall with her husband, Malcolm, whose aunt also lives at Belong Atherton, and stayed at Belong’s spacious guest suite for four days.
Phyllis, an avid-Manchester United fan even received a birthday card from Sir Alex Ferguson.
She is the only survivor of three siblings, after tragically losing sister, Maud, to pneumonia aged 24 and brother, John, aged 32 from blood loss following a tooth extraction.
Belong Atherton general manager, Julie Washington, said: “It’s been lovely to see Phyllis surrounded by all her family here at Belong.”
n And, below, this little baby of Buck Street, Leigh, will, like Phyllis, celebrate her birthday once every four years!