A FORMER opera singer, who served for many years as a deacon in the Congregational Chapel in Llanidloes, has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Eunice May Hedges (nee Whitticase) was born in November 1919 and celebrated her centenary at Maes-y-Wennol care home, alongside friends, family members and staff.

Her brother Ron, 91, who also lives locally, joined the party, where she had the chance to open her personalised card from The Queen.

Eunice was brought up on the family farm in Aberhafesp, near Newtown, as the fourth of six children, and attended Bwlch-y-Ffridd school. Her father sadly passed away when she was just 11, leaving Eunice and her only sister, Fran, to help out on the farm, after her eldest brother left home to get married.

In 1942, she married local man Bert Hedges, a soldier who also played football for Newtown and Caersws, and the couple set up home in Llanidloes. Although they had no children themselves, Eunice continued to support her mother and spent lots of time with her brother and sister, as well we her numerous nephews and nieces.

County Times: Eunice Hedges with family members including her 91-year-old brother Ron WhitticaseEunice Hedges with family members including her 91-year-old brother Ron Whitticase

Eunice also found time to pursue her passion for opera singing, gardening and art. She was a regular fundraiser for her local church and also an accomplished craftswoman - for a number of years she hand-knitted designer goods.

When her husband retired from the Army in 1986, the couple moved to the idyllic seaside village of Borth-y-Gest, near Porthmadog, but Bert sadly passed away just a year later.

After moving initially to Caersws, Eunice finally returned to Llanidloes a decade later, where she moved in next door to her sister Fran.

She moved to Maes-y-Wennol seven years ago, where she continues to play an active part in the community there;

Sandra Holt, care home manager, said: “Eunice is such a colourful character who cherishes every minute she spends with her brother and her extended family of nephews and nieces.

“I would say that her secret to life is to fill every moment with excitement and never be afraid to try new things. It was such a privilege to celebrate her 100th birthday at Maes-y-Wennol and we wish her and her family all the very best.”