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Celebrating a milestone with Jim and his family

Community Gateway staff were delighted to be invited to join in with the celebrations for a very special event: resident Jameson (Jim) St Valle’s family and friends were marking his 100th birthday with a get-together at their extra-care scheme, The Courtyards.

Jim and Gwen croppedJim was born on 2nd March 1924 in Dominica. He came to the UK at the age of 36 in 1960 as part of the Windrush generation, settling in Preston and marrying Gwen in 1964. Jim was a founder member of Preston’s Seventh Day Adventist Church, after having had to travel to Chorley and beyond to practise his religion. He worked at Leyland Motors and Lostock Railway before retiring to enjoy time with the family and looking after his allotment off Blackpool Road. The couple also spent some time back in Dominica before returning to Preston and eventually moving into The Courtyards, where they’ve settled well, making plenty of friends and becoming part of the community. They have three children, seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren – and like all West Indian men, Jim loves a game of dominoes!

As well as friends and family, the gathering at The Courtyards was attended by members of Preston Black History Group, Mayor of Preston, Councillor Yakub Patel, Councillor Nweeda Khan (Preston City Council) and Councillor Joan Burrow (Lancashire County Council).

The celebration was introduced by Clinton Smith, Chair of Preston Black History Group, who thanked everyone for coming.  CGA’s Extra-Care Manager, Anas Bux, and Head of Housing Services, Fiona Fisher wished Jim a happy birthday as did members of Preston’s Afro-Caribbean community as well as The Courtyards residents and the care team.

Jim is oldest living member of the Windrush community in Preston. The Mayor called him a “lion” and said his birthday was another milestone in Preston’s proud history,  

Jim’s daughters rounded things off by speaking about their dad before Jim stood to thank everyone for coming: “I didn’t expect this, thank you is not enough. I’m so glad to see everyone here today to witness my birthday.” 

 

Jim with the Mayor of Preston (2023-24), Councillor Yakub Patel

 

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