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Sutton Bridge centenarian Jack Earley has two parties to mark his milestone

Jack Earley with his Rotary friends. Photo (TIM WILSON) SG250418-102TW
Jack Earley with his Rotary friends. Photo (TIM WILSON) SG250418-102TW

A former manager of Travis and Arnold at Sutton Bridge and a founder member of the East Elloe Rotary Club celebrated his 100th birthday on Saturday.

Jack Earley had a party with his Rotary friends on Wednesday, when he was presented with a cake bearing the age “99.9”, and then family and friends poured into St Matthew’s Church, at Sutton Bridge, to honour him on his big day with a party in the Trinity Room.

He was showered with good wishes and gifts, including a glass plaque from Travis and Arnold, now Travis Perkins, to congratulate him on his milestone birthday.

Sons Peter and John sprang a surprise by taking Jack to St Matthew’s, where up to 80 people were waiting.

Peter said: “He thought it was wonderful. He was surprised because he didn’t think anything was happening.”

Born in Rugby, Jack served in the Army during the Second World War and is a Dunkirk veteran.

He met his late wife, Olive, at a regimental dance in February 1942 and they married in December that year.

The couple moved to Sutton Bridge shortly after the war with Jack taking up a job at Travis and Arnold, working his way up to become manager.

He spent nearly his whole working life with the same company, apart from a short spell with Barclays Bank after he retired.

Peter said: “He’s very committed to the local area even though he wasn’t born in Sutton Bridge.”

As well as working for good causes through Rotary, Jack has devoted his time to the Royal British Legion, the Freemasons and the church council.

Peter said: “He’s really hard working.”

Son John said: “He’s a great father.”

John said his father had done a lot for the community, adding: “He thinks a lot of others rather than himself all the time.”

Besides his sons, Jack has family including seven grandchildren.

Sallyann Napier started working for Jack 15 years ago when he needed a spot of help with his cleaning, and he’s won a special place in her heart.

She said: “He’s really caring and I treat him like my dad.”

Rotarian John Tinn said: “He’s a super chap.”

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