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Maria Bruni from Mill End celebrates her 100th birthday with family and friends
A Mill End woman celebrated her 100th birthday with a Hawaiian barbecue surrounded by loved ones.
Maria Bruni partied with around 60 family, friends and staff at the Chalfont Court Nursing Home in Uxbridge Road last Thursday (August 15).
Among Maria’s guests were her son Paul Bruni and his wife Judith and her Italian friend Rosa who ran a cafe in Camden where Maria and her late husband, Louis, lived.
Rosa kept in touch and by coming to the party she was able to keep a promise that she would come to Maria's 100th birthday.
The celebrations included an entertainer who had been a member of the Dave Clark Five in the 1960s while staff at the home presented her with a flower arrangement, three helium balloons and some other gifts.
She also received a card from the Queen and a telegram from Iain Duncan Smith MP, secretary of state, in charge of the Department for Work and Pensions.
Her daughter-in-law Judith Bruni said: "With all the residents, families and members of staff, there must have been 50 to 60 people present.
"She [Rosa] always promised she would come to Maria's 100th birthday and she did. They had a good chat in Italian."
Maria was born in Hastings in 1913 to Maria and Enrico Andreazzi who had emigrated from the Val Blenio region of Ticino, the Italian canton of Switzerland.
Her father ran a restaurant in the town but died when Maria was about 13.
After she had finished school, she and her mother moved to London where she met and eventually married Louis Bruni, who was also descended from immigrant parents from the same region, in 1947 in the Corpus Christi Catholic church in Covent Garden.
Maria worked as an auxiliary nurse at the French hospital in Leicester Square and waited at tables in a restaurant in Charing Cross Road while Louis spent six years in India during the Second World War serving as an armourer on Spitfires.
The couple lived in Drury Lane where their only son Paul was born, later moving to Camden where she lived for many years.
After Louis died in 1995, she moved to Rickmansworth to be near her son and family, moving to Chalfont Court Nursing Home three years ago. She also has two granddaughters.
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