Centenarian Susan celebrates a landmark day

Susan Johnston with Rev Colin McClure from First Larne Presyterian Church, Clerk of Sessions Kenneth McKinley, Moderator Very Rev Dr Rob Craig and Mrs Karen Craig. INLT 37-303-PR
Susan Johnston with Rev Colin McClure from First Larne Presyterian Church, Clerk of Sessions Kenneth McKinley, Moderator Very Rev Dr Rob Craig and Mrs Karen Craig. INLT 37-303-PR
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Centenarian Susan Johnston enjoyed a visit from the moderator of the Presbyterian Church as part of her 100th birthday celebrations.

Mrs Johnston, a resident of Lisgarel, was also joined by family and friends for the special occasion.

The former Sunday School teacher attributed her long life to “giving God His place in her life”. She is still a faithful attender of First Larne Presbyterian Church.

Bringing greetings from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, moderator Rt Rev Dr. Rob Craig said: “It is a delight for me and my wife Karen to share the 100th birthday celebration with Mrs Johnston. We would like to offer her our best wishes and also her family circle.”

Minister Rev. Colin McClure added: “I am representing all her friends in First Larne. It is great that she is able to enjoy being with her family on her birthday.”

Joining Susan and her guests for a birthday tea, the moderator read Psalm 121 before offering thanks for her long life and good health. Guests included friends from Age Concern, which she was enthusiastically involved in since 1975. She was also secretary of of the YMCA, president of Larne WI and a member of the Trefoil Guild (girl guiding).

Born on September 3, 1913, she was the eldest daughter of Rachel and William Montgomery. The family lived at Glynnview Avenue before moving to Portland Street.

Susan was a pupil of Olderfleet Primary and Larne Tech.She started work as a secretary in Hutton’s drapery shop, Main Street, before being employed at Fairburn Hatchery, Coastguard Road.

In 1954, she married John Johnston. The couple owned a furniture shop at Main Street before moving to an outlet at the former Mill Street. They had two children, Maureen and David.

Mrs Johnston returned to education in the ‘60s studying for her teacher’s diploma and then taught night classes at Larne Tech. She said that when her family grew up she was “not going to sit in the house”.

In 1967, the family returned to live in the harbour area. Susan found a job at Fitall Plugs and later as a secretary, by Sir Alfred McAlpine and Sons.

Mrs Johnston remained living independently at Coastguard Road until she was 98 when she moved into Lisgarel.