Young at heart Jack celebrates 100th birthday
A Wexford native, who emigrated to the UK over 80 years ago, recently celebrated his 100th birthday in the company of his family and friends.
Jack Berney, originally from Killurin, now lives in Sheffield having left Wexford at the age of 17 to join his three brothers Dick, Brian and Paddy. Together they worked for McAlpine Building Company as well as many others over the subsequent years. The son of Johanna and Patrick, he also a sister, Margaret.
Jack met his wife Rita in Chesterfield. They married and had two children - Patricia and Robert, both of whom are now in their 70s.
Jack's niece Ann Berney said her uncle loves coming home to Wexford and tries to get back every year while Wexford based family go over to visit frequently.
She said the weekend of Jack's birthday was a hectic one. They enjoyed an evening at his home on Thursday before celebrating in Fagan's pub on Saturday and Flynn's pub on Sunday. He received letters of congratulations from President Michael D. Higgins, and the Queen, as well as a cheque for €1,500 from Ireland. In addition to that, Jack's local priest organised for a special blessing for him from the Pope and he received a certificate to mark the occasion.
Jack receives his copy of the paper every week and Ann said he is often able to tell her things that she didn't know about her local area!
He has six grandchildren and four great grandchildren and is, as his niece said, 'young at heart'.