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)

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)

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)

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

Sidney Jon Blair said he would have died if a van and car had collided at the intersection of corner of Resthaven Drive and Brethour Avenue in early December. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney senior urges motorists to slow down on Resthaven Drive

Jon Blair said community must become more pedestrian-friendly

Bob Joseph, author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, will be available for a Q&A through the Vancouver Island Regional Library Jan. 28. (Courtesy of Vancouver Island Regional Library)
Q&A on the Indian Act with Bob Joseph open to Greater Victoria residents

Bob Joseph is the author of 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

Tarpaulin-covered tents sit next to one of the ponds in Beacon Hill Park. The location of the Meegan community care tent has still not been nailed down, as Victoria council rejected the recommendation offered by city staff. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Location of care tent for Victoria’s Beacon Hill campers still not settled

Council roundly rejects Avalon Road site, road’s edge on Cook Street appears the top alternative

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
West Shore minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

The Songhees Wellness Centre is a symbol of First Nations strength in the region. Representatives of local First Nations will soon play a greater role in decision making and governance relating to the Capital Regional District. (Courtesy Royal Roads University)
Capital Regional District to add First Nations representatives to advisory committees

Board approves bylaw, looks forward to Indigenous input on future decisions

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Everett Bumstead (centre) and his crew share a picture from a tree planting location in Sayward on Vancouver Island from when they were filming for ‘One Million Trees’ last year. Photo courtesy, Everett Bumstead.
The tree-planting life on Vancouver Island featured in new documentary

Everett Bumstead brings forth the technicalities, psychology and politics of the tree planting industry in his movie

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)

Most Read