At Bernard Sunley, the Woking-based residential, nursing and dementia care home run by charity Friends of the Elderly, Western and Cowboy film-loving resident Cedric Vallint, has had a wonderful ‘Aces High’ day celebrating his milestone 101st birthday with his family, the care team and his care home friends.
The care team at Bernard Sunley got on the bandwagon to make sure Cedric had a ‘Howdy Doody’ birthday, filled with all his favourite things. To begin his landmark day, Cedric’s room was decked out with celebratory balloons and banners; he was given cards and gifts and he enjoyed a tasty breakfast with his care home friends, which started his day on the right track.
Cedric, who has been a resident at Bernard Sunley care home since November 2021, grew up in India and attended the La Martinière School in Kolkata (previously known as Calcutta).
Cedric, who has had a passion for cowboy and Bollywood films since he was young, said:
“I’ve always loved films, especially cowboy films. John Wayne is my all-time favourite film star. His iconic one-liners are great. One that springs to mind is ‘Life is getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down, which is so true.”
In addition to cowboy and Bollywood films, Cedric also loves taking part in the wide range of daily activities at Bernard Sunley.
A smiling Cedric said:
“Apart from watching as many cowboy films as possible, I thoroughly enjoy so many of the activities the care team has going on here. I’m particularly partial to joining in with board games – I’m a bit of a hit at Scrabble – memory games, the arts and crafts sessions, the delicious afternoon teas and, of course, the regular live entertainment performances. I do like a good old sing-along.
“Even though I don’t drink tea or coffee, our afternoon teas are wonderful as I get to chat with my friends and the care team whilst sipping a hot chocolate. I’ve got a rather cheeky sense of humour, and I’m always pulling my friends’ legs about something or other. Mind you, they know me so well now, they get me and we always end up laughing and joking.”
In the afternoon, the ‘Rootin’ Tootin’ party continued with Cedric’s daughter Maureen visiting. The care home chefs put on a special and delicious birthday afternoon tea, complete with a scrumptious hand-made 101st Birthday cake.
However, the Birthday ‘Hoedown’ didn’t stop there. The care team arranged for a special ‘kit and caboodle’ afternoon of entertainment for the 101-year-old cowboy’s ‘shindig’ with singer Helen performing a sing-along through the decades which everyone really enjoyed.
“It was great to have a good old sing-song. Cowboys sang around their campfires to relax after a hard day’s work, if they were lonely and, so it’s said, to soothe the cattle. Not us. We all sang along with Helen for fun and giggles, we had a marvellous time.”
Andy Cumper, the Registered Manager at Bernard Sunley said:
“Cedric is great fun to have living with us at Bernard Sunley. He’s funny and kind and a real pleasure to care for. Cedric is always up for taking part in a variety of activities and gets along with all the care team and other residents. Everyone loves Cedric’s cheeky sense of humour and he’ll never miss an opportunity to pull our legs.
“We are all so glad Cedric enjoyed his 101st Birthday celebrations, he’s our own, real Western Star.”
“I’ve had a fantastic 101st Birthday. It doesn’t seem that long since my 100th when I received my beautiful card from our late Queen. I think Her Majesty and I are quite similar and may have been a cowboy and cowgirl in a previous life, as the old cowboy saying goes, ‘A cowboy is a breed tougher than nails and strong as steel’. I think that sums us both up quite well.”