The widow of the man who headed Ulster’s civil service during some of the Province’s pivotal years has turned 100.
Lady Doris Bateman, widow of Sir Cecil Bateman, was joined by a large gathering of family members to celebrate her centenary.
And for years of her long lifetime, her husband held a very senior role during what was a crucial period for Ulster.
During the mid-1960s he was secretary of the cabinet of Prime Minister Terence O’Neill, the former Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, before he was put at the helm of the Province’s civil service.
Lady Bateman was born Doris Simpson in Leith, Scotland, in 1913, but moved to Belfast with her family as a child.
After secretarial college she met and married Cecil while working as a civil servant herself.
Today, she is said to be a keen enthusiast for things like bus trips and musical nights at the Methodist-run care home Kirk House in Dundonald where she now lives.
For her recent birthday, the assistant cook at the home had crafted a pink and white cake complete with handmade decorations, which were said to have taken her weeks to create.
The lounge itself was decked in pink by staff, and as part of a surprise party organised by her grand-daughter she was whisked off in a vintage car for afternoon tea with 22 family members.
Julianna Kobus, senior care worker at the home, said despite her former high position in society she was “very down-to-earth”.
She said she is affectionately known by staff as “Lady B”, adding: “All the staff respect her and love her.
“She is the loveliest lady you could meet ‑ always a kind word for people.”
Her birthday fell on July 4.