This couple was among the 50 well-wishers who stood outside the balcony of Margaret Ibbotson to help her celebrate her 88th birthday. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

PHOTOS: Sidney residents serenade senior from school field for her 88th birthday

Margaret Ibbotson watches celebrations from her balcony

Some 50 of her closest friends gave 88-year-old Margaret Ibbotson a birthday to remember.

Standing outside her apartment balcony, a crowd of well-wishers including friends and family serenaded Ibbotson with not one, but many renditions of Happy Birthday. The group had gathered around 11 a.m. on the grounds of Sidney elementary school to walk to Ibbotson’s place.

As well-wishers, many carrying placards, balloons and flags, stepped on the school’s field, many broke into the first edition of the song. It was so nice that they did it twice once everybody had arrived.

Joined by her son Craig, Ibbotson watched from her balcony, visibly touched, then repaid the favour with a song of her own.

“I’m absolutely gobsmacked,” she said from her balcony afterwards. “I’m very surprised to see so many people and how the people are. What a mixture of wonderful friends.”

RELATED: PHOTOS: COVID-19 forced Sidney couple to change wedding arrangements

Ibbotson knows many of them through her long involvement with the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club, which she co-founded with her late husband Peter some 40 years ago after arriving from northern England. Others including Polly and Ian Sutherland know Ibbotson from travels together.

“I’m absolutely shocked to see so many people,” said Polly. “I had no idea. I was thinking, ‘well, we have to keep it down to 10,’ but to work it out in this big field, it worked out beautifully.”

Monday’s public birthday singalong had only one drawback. Rain falling earlier that morning meant that Sidney’s Town Crier Kenny Podmore could not come out because it would have damaged his costume.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

88-year-old Margaret Ibbotson, here seen with her son Craig, watches from her balcony as some 50 people gathered outside her Sidney apartment to help her celebrate her birthday. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

This was the scene in Sidney outside the balcony as some 50 friends helped Margaret Ibbotson celebrate her 88th birthday. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Just Posted

VIDEO: View Royal resident spots cougar in nearby backyard

B.C. Conservation notified about early Thursday morning sighting

People-less protest in Victoria holds space for victims of police brutality, systematic racism

People are asked to come learn the names of the lives lost to the hands of racism

COVID-19 demolishes new construction in Greater Victoria

Value of new building permits in Greater Victoria drop more than 37 per cent

Victoria police arrest two people during ‘tweet-a-long’ Strike Force operation

VicPD offering ‘behind the scenes’ look at the operation

Greater Victoria tourism industry ‘can’t wait any longer’ for financial aid

Saanich mayor, business owners call on provincial, federal governments for tourism-specific aid

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Man found dead in his tent at Island homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

New study is first full list of species that only exist in Canada

Almost 40 per cent of them are critically imperilled or imperilled and eight are already extinct

Federal aid for care home systems needed ahead of second wave, advocates say

Ontario Long Term Care Association calling for more action

B.C. woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Horgan calls for national anti-racism program; will pitch idea to PM, premiers

Premier John Horgan said he’s horrified by the death of George Floyd in the United States

Most Read