At the age of 110, Maria da Conceição even received congratulations from the President of the Republic

«May they be happy and have a long life like mine», wishes the “queen” of the home of São Brás de Alportel

Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação

The birthday of home users is always special for the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de São Brás de Alportel, but yesterday, December 22, a very important milestone was marked: the “queen” Maria da Conceição turned 110.

In a wheelchair, because her legs are no longer what they used to be, she went to the home's Ballroom, where dozens of people were already waiting for her, wanting to celebrate this memorable day with her. After all, it's rare to see someone reach the age of 110. In the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de São Brás de Alportel, this never happened, although many centenary anniversaries have already been celebrated there.

«It is an immense pride and an extraordinary joy to have the privilege of taking care of Dona Conceição, but also of all the users we have here, who are not 110 years old, but are on their way there. We will do everything to get them there», said Júlio Pereira, the provider of Santa Casa.

Born in São Romão, in 1912, São Brás de Alportel was not yet a municipality, but a parish of Faro, Maria da Conceição dedicated her whole life to working in the countryside, where she picked carobs, olives and broad beans.

So it was until he was 99 years old, when he left his home and came to live at the home.

«I am proud to have Maria da Conceição here at the age of 110 and that is why I say that she is my queen», highlighted Anabela, adding that the elderly woman shows every day «a taste for living».


Anabela Conceição, technical director of the home, and Júlio Pereira, the Santa Casa provider. Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


With an emotional look, the technical director of the home revealed to the Sul Informação that there were times when they were afraid of losing Maria da Conceição, «but she always came out on top».

«With the arrival of Covid-19, we were always careful not to catch it, because we thought that, if that happened, there was a great possibility of losing it, but it ended up catching it this year and what is certain is that it did. », revealed Anabela, referring that the biggest injuries that the virus left her were at the level of hearing.

Regarding the other faculties, the technical director explains that D. Conceição can only get around in a wheelchair, «because it is difficult for her to walk», while she manages to feed herself, «depending on the days».

Yesterday, Maria da Conceição «was not in her day», the employees who work with her were immediately warned, but even so, she managed to draw smiles from many of those in that room.

Mayor, Parish Council and other municipal entities did not miss the party – and even the President of the Republic made a point of being present. By telephone, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa congratulated D. Maria da Conceição, a moment that received applause from all.


The moment he received the call from the President of the Republic. Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


For the provider Júlio Pereira, this is a very happy day, which also reflects the work done by the professionals in this home.

«What we do is treat others the way we would like them to treat us and that's no secret, it's a very basic thing. What we do is spoil them, cherish them and cherish them as families do. This is the spirit that we instill in all our technicians and employees and it is reflected », he says.

Despite admitting that the pandemic "left its marks" due to distance and family absence, the ombudsman stresses that the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de São Brás de Alportel has always tried to make up for these losses with internal measures.

«Right now, we are, step by step, returning to normality and one of the things that goes in that direction is this anniversary already open to the community», he stressed.

After the candles were extinguished (with help) and the musical moments ended, Maria da Conceição was unable to say many words, but she left a message on a card signed by herself and distributed by the employees of the home.

“May they be happy and have a long life like mine”, is the wish of the 110-year-old “queen”.


Photos: Mariana Sedge | Sul Informação

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