School holds surprise party for centenarian

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Brackenfield School celebrated the 100th birthday of Harrogate resident John Shannon last Friday.

This very special birthday party came about after Mr Shannon, who lives at Hampden House on Duchy Road, went to Brackenfield for their celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday last June.

During this party, he gave a short speech in which he mentioned that he would be ten years older than the Queen in October when he turned 100.

The infant staff at Brackenfield set to work planning a birthday surprise for Mr Shannon. He was invited to the school on the Friday before his 100th birthday to celebrate.

The infant department sang their harvest festival songs to Mr Shannon and sang Happy Birthday as they presented him with a special Brackenfield birthday cake.

He was given cards made by the pupils and also a lovely photo paper weight of the infant classes.

Mr Shannon showed the children his card from the Queen, thanked them and told them about a few of the many experiences in his life.

“I taught at all levels in education from nursery to university, a ship’s schoolmaster in the war, 16 years as a Headmaster and the Chairman of Assessors for Teacher Training at Leeds University,” Mr Shannon told them.

“I congratulate everyone at Brackenfield School for such a special place.”

Infant teacher, Mrs Ingle-Illes planned the celebration and was delighted that Mr Shannon was able to attend.

“Having learnt that Mr Shannon was to become 100 in October, we all wanted to share in his celebrations,” she said.

“He has so many stories to tell the children from his long life and they were fascinated to hear about just a few of them.“

Head of Infants at Brackenfield, Mrs Moon added: “It was a very special occasion enjoyed by both the children, staff and Mr Shannon. He is a very special person.”