The Burns family are both delighted and disappointed.
Delighted that ‘Granda’ Felix Jospeh Burns has reached his 101st birthday, and disappointed they can’t celebrate it because of the coronavirus lockdown and social distancing requirements writes Jim Masson.
But celebrate they will when the lockdown is eased.
Felix was born on 1/05/1919.
Felix’s grand-daugher Sinead explained: “Felix moved to the farm when he was 14 and married Isobel Torney in 1948.
“They had 13 children, nine boys and four girls. Oliver, Sean, Peter, Paddy, Dee, Eamon, Kevin, Malachy and Martin, with Kate, Eileen, Mary and Anne.
“Isobel his wife passed away sadly in January 1999, and he has remained at home ever since with the care of his sons, daughters and grand-children.
“Felix loved working the 120 acre farm near Killough until he was no longer fit and now his son Peter has taken over, with advice and a watchful eye from Felix from his chair in the porch.
“In better days, he enjoyed watching the horse racing and enjoyed a drink in Minerstown Tavern with his great friends of more than 60 years Henry Starkey and Tom Montgomery, who have both sadly passed away now.
“His secret to a long life is he says, ‘I was blessed with the company of a loving family, friends and neighbours, and I love to see the younger generations come to visit.’ “
Felix always advised his family and friends to content with what they had and not to take life too seriously and always had a smile on his face. His approach to life was simple: He said: “I dealt with things as they happened, that’s how I dealt with life”.
Sinead added: “Last year the children and grandchildren organised a huge party to celebrate his milestone 100th birthday. Sadly this year due to the government coronavirus lockdown the family cannot have another celebration due to social distancing. In lieu of presents for his birthday, he asked for donations for the Cancer Fund for Children’s Daisy Lodge Centre just outside Newcastle and he raised close to £3500. He’s an amazing person. He just loves his family. And they all love him!”
Granda Felix Burns Celebrates his 101st
(a poem to mark the occasion written by Sinead Burns.)
On Mayday 1919, Our family tree began,
Felix Joseph Burns was born, boyso, what a man.
A fine farm he managed to run, just down in Ballylig,
Him, Isobel and 13 youngsters, a family so big!
Years of working happily, the family it grew.
The children spread their wings, from the nest they flew,
New York, Canada, England, and even to Saul too!
Forty Nine Grandchildren followed, and 41 great-grandkids came,
Growing all the time, too many now to name!
The parties we’ve all thrown, good times we have had,
This one we can’t have though, is sure to leave us sad.
Oh, What a bash we had! Surely never will be topped!
This year, no balloons, no cake, our visits have been stopped.
We’ll think of you on May Day Granda, in our mind you’ll be,
We’ll toast your Birthday surely, A gin, or maybe three!
To get where he has got to, sure it was no easy feat!
He’s known round town and country, ask anyone you meet!
“Felix..A hardworking man!” “Ah Felix is a Gent”
Birthday wishes from afar, to Feli will be sent.
When this lockdowns over, Please God we all see it through,
The Burns’ will throw a party, Oh we’ll have such a do!
So Congratulations, and Happy Birthday Granda Burns,
Mayday 2020 One Hundred and One he turns.