Popular village advocate celebrates milestone birthday
- Credit: Michael Rouse
Family, friends and the community of Littleport came together to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of its much-loved village advocates.
Lyn Gibb-de Swarte is involved in a wide range of organisations and societies, from editing the Littleport Life magazine to supporting the Littleport Parkrunners.
On Saturday (June 12), many of those involved in the groups took part in various activities to wish Lyn well on her milestone birthday.
She said: “It was an absolutely amazing day and I’m still overwhelmed by all the good wishes. I really don’t know what I’ve done to deserve it all.
“It isn’t every day one is 40, times two!”
Her day started with a small group of Littleport Parkrunners setting off from outside her home for a 5k run dressed up in rainbow tutus for ‘Pride Month’.
Afterwards, everyone treated themselves with rainbow-themed cupcakes.
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In the afternoon, a gathering was held at the Ex-Servicemen's Club with an outdoor concert from a small number of musicians from Littleport Brass.
Littleport’s 363 MMC Motocycle Club then held a ride past for Lyn and presented her with gifts.
Lyn said: “What made the day extra special is that five of my six children and five grandchildren were able to be there.
“They all met the wonderful community we’ve made friends with here.”
She carries out much of her community work with her partner Cathy.
As well as the community magazine and running group, they also sit on The Littleport Society committee and Lyn chair’s the Littleport Scouting and Guiding Hut committee.
Lyn’s ice-skating background also featured heavily throughout her birthday. In the 1970s, she was one of the country’s first female speed skaters to compete internationally.
Among her first 80th birthday wishes came from Maureen Scott, whose late husband Aubrey was the famous fen skater.
And ice skaters Lyn went on to coach in speed skating and ice hockey joined her for her special day.
Lyn added: “Through my skating connections, it was also lovely to have so many birthday wishes from around the world.
“I can't thank everyone enough. I really love Littleport and everything about our village.”