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Party for town’s ‘bingo queen’

Popular figure: Ismay Steede, pictured here in her younger years and more recently, will be celebrating her 100th birthday in St George’s tomorrow

The St George’s community will come together this weekend to celebrate the 100th birthday of well-known “bingo queen” Ismay Steede.

Although her birthday falls on January 12, the party will kick-start a week of celebration, according to Ms Steede’s youngest son.

“We want everybody to enjoy this as a town and a community,” Phillip Anderson, a Corporation of St George councillor, said, adding that everyone on the Island is welcome to attend.

“She is very well known in the community,” Mr Anderson said. “She has lived in St George’s most of her life. How often do you see someone in this town who has reached the magical number of 100 and she’s still standing.”

Ms Steede worked in the hospitality industry as a housekeeper for hotels and private guesthouses.

According to Mr Anderson, Ms Steede is a “bingo queen” and still enjoys playing. All of her bingo friends have been invited to the party, which is being put on by Ms Steede’s family.

There will be bingo games with prizes up for grabs, as well as music, dancing and other entertainment. According to Mr Anderson, Ms Steede had 12 children — seven boys and five girls — and also raised several of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She now has close to 40 grandchildren and more than 20 great-, great-grandchildren.

Mr Anderson added: “She has dedicated her life to raising her children and family, so this is also a way of saying thank you.”

The party celebrating Ms Steede’s birthday will be held on King’s Square, weather permitting, tomorrow, from 2pm to 5pm. In the event of rain, the party will be moved to the ferry terminal on Penno’s Wharf.