Rosevale’s Ruth turns 103

Winifred Thompson and her mum Ruth Henning, who celebrated her 103rd birthday this week, admiring a medal sent by Irish president Michael D Higgins. US1537-592cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Winifred Thompson and her mum Ruth Henning, who celebrated her 103rd birthday this week, admiring a medal sent by Irish president Michael D Higgins. US1537-592cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

A very special birthday was celebrated on Monday, September 14 for Rosevale Lodge resident Ruth Henning.

Ruth, who was born near Portadown celebrated her 103rd birthday surrounded by family and friends.

She was born the same year the Titanic sank and more than 1,500 passengers drowned, British explorer Robert F Scott reached the South Pole and American President Woodrow Wilson came to power.

Ruth, described as being in good shape suffers from a bad hip lived in the Saintfield Road before retiring to Lisburn.

She is a member of the Independent Methodist Church until her late 90’s and was married to William James Henning and they had two children Winifred and David and one grandson Stephen.

Her daughter Winifred describes her mother has having a ‘wonderful life.’

Ruth was born with a caul, which is a cap of skin that covers the head. It is believed if you are born withone you will never be harmed by fire.

Her daughter recalled, “True enough when my mother was three years old she set herself on fire at her parents’ farm and not one of her golden ringlets were singed - just her clothes.”

At seven Ruth suffered from a burst appendix and doctors told her family to ‘prepare for the worst.’

“The doctor couldn’t believe what my mother survived - it was like a miracle as in those days they couldn’t stitch the wounds.”

At the age of 16 she gave her life to Christ.

“My mother trusted Christ everyday,” Winifred continued. “She didn’t smoke or drink and she was always interested in showjumping.

“She never had a bad word to say about anyone.”