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Wednesday, 28th February 2024

A week of parties as Birthday Boy Bertie celebrates his hundredth

Front Page

Bertie Chase pictured at a party in Scholars Hotel to celebrate his100th birthday with his daughter Suzanne and son Andrew.

By Andy Spearman

It has been a week of parties for Birthday boy Bertie Chase and that’s because, on turning 100 years of age, he has much to celebrate and a lot of friends to celebrate with.

So far Bertie’s 100th birthday has been celebrated with staff at the Drogheda Community Services Centre, with family at Scholar’s Hotel and tomorrow there’s another party in his honour at Tredagh Lodge.

All this partying may be because Bertie was a leap year baby, born on February 29th 1924, so officially he only has a birthday every four years. Or it could just be that he's a party animal!

Bertie is Drogheda from his toes to his fingertips. He was born in the Marsh Road and then moved to Sunnyside cottages before settling in the Old Hill with his wife Anne who died in 2013. He now he lives at St. Peter’s Place.

He went to school at St. Peter's in Bolton Square and worked for many years in the Irish Oil and Cake Mills up until it closed but, not being one to remain idle for long, Bertie took to driving taxis for a living.

Always a popular man, Bertie found the social element of taxi driving suited him well and he was affectionately known as the slowest taxi man in Drogheda because he often spent more time pointing out wildlife and birds to his passengers!

His big love throughout many years was fishing, specifically fly fishing, and he spent many weekends on Lough Sheelin with Paddy Caffrey and others. He was a founding member of the Drogheda Anglers Club.

Another favourite pastime of Bertie’s is indoor bowls which he played with both St Marys and St Peters COI parish clubs for years and later in the Greenhills Bowls Cub where he met many friends playing there every Saturday.

Bertie Chase at his 100th Birthday party.

Bertie’s daughter Suzanne says Bertie also still loves gardening but with limited space, he now only has tomatoes which he grows from seed yearly and are his pride and joy. “They’re grown outdoors, no greenhouse!” she emphasises.

Mr. Chase has featured on the pages of Drogheda Life a couple of times previously. During Covid he hit the headlines when his appointment for the coronavirus jab was cancelled because the vaccine hadn’t arrived. When it did arrive in the doctor’s surgery he brought his cheerful outlook to the surgery who held a little party for him.

Two years ago, on May 24th 2022, Bertie attended the 100 birthday party of Maud Keery who is an old school friend from St. Peter’s National School in Bolton Square.

Old friends - Maud Keery and Bertie Chase, who both went to St. Peter's National School in Bolton Square, pictured in 2022 at Maud's 100th birthday. The pair were reunited this week when Bertie celebrated his 100th. Photo: Andy Spearman.

Maud recalled a children’s Christmas party in the old St. Peter’s Church Hall in Peter Street, when a tray of buns was passed around but she wasn’t quick enough and some little boy grabbed the bun she had her eye on.

Bertie was quick to deny any knowledge of the crime. “It wasn’t me that took the bun!” he said, “I wouldn’t dare, she was a lot older than me then!”

It was great to see Maude back in party mode and sharing more jokes with her young friend Bertie this week. Long may the party continue.

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