Hello Dolly: you're 105

By Jonathan Kalmus, May 23, 2008

Big celebrations were planned yesterday at the Heathlands home in Manchester, where resident Dolly Phillips was due to celebrate her 105th birthday.

Dolly Phillips and care assistants Edwina Cabasagan and Jane Hodkinson

Born on May 22 1903, she has dedicated her life to community welfare through the Manchester Jewish Soup Kitchen — where she first assisted when she was 17 — and introducing kosher meals-on-wheels in 1942. She continued to work on meals-on-wheels until well into her nineties and took care of its accounts until the age of 101.

She retains a keen wit, greeting the JC: “Shalom Aleichem, a nice Yiddishe boy.” Birthday cards and family photos adorn her bedside table on the nursing floor at Heathlands.

Dolly also produced a note of thanks for a present she had bought her great-great niece.

“I can’t believe it,” she reflected. “One-hundred-and-five. I’m supposed to get something from the Queen. But I don’t want to be here forever,” she joked. “I’m not sure about 107.”

A British Empire Medal is among a slew of awards she has received for community service.

Last updated: 4:06pm, July 3 2009