100 years for Monmouth trailblazer

By Desmond Pugh in Local People

A FORMER mayor of Monmouth celebrated her 100th birthday last week.

Mona Thomas, who was mayor of Monmouth in 1979, enjoyed a party at the Conservative Club in Whitecross Street, where she was the first lady member to join the club back in 1964.

Well known through her time on the council and as a member of the Conservative Club and Red Cross, she spent most of her life devoted to looking after the elderly and disabled.

Gerry Beard gave a potted history of her involvement in the town and various societies.

“She came to Monmouth 63 years ago and was the first female member of the club when they passed a motion at their AGM in 1964 to allow women to become members”.

Gerry continued: “She served on the committee for 40 years, being one of the few who joined the club before Ken became secretary, Mona was chair and then vice-president, and was the club’s hospital representative, attending every Sunday afternoon where she made tea and offered support to members who were in-patients, which soon stretched to visiting all patients.”

From then on she was quite busy in the community and was elected to the town council in 1972, becoming mayor in 1979, the first woman to sit as chair since the 1974 re-organisation.

She always had itchy feet and joined the Red Cross where she was made a life member and was given her certificate by Lady Mountbatten.

She became well known around town as a poppy seller which she did for almost 50 years. “I had every possible illness under the sun” she said, “but survived them all,” something she contributes towards her secret of longevity.

She added that all her contemporary friends have now gone, but she enjoys her time going for a stroll and counts herself lucky she still lives with her daughter.

After a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday, she was presented with a framed picture of poppies, painted by Jean Jones and was toasted by her old friend Maggie Harris.

Mona thanked Helmet Hair for her hair-do and flowers, Jean Jones, the Conservative Club for the buffet and everyone for their gifts.

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