Former headteacher of Sherborne House School celebrates her 100th birthday

Current headteacher at Sherborne House School Heather Hopson-Hill with Dorothy Wise. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (131547-7662)
Current headteacher at Sherborne House School Heather Hopson-Hill with Dorothy Wise. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (131547-7662)

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PROUDLY displaying her card from the Queen, Dorothy Wise celebrated her 100th birthday by promoting her latest book.

The inspirational woman, from Wickham, was headmistress at Sherborne House School in Chandler’s Ford for 50 years.

Scores of friends and family, and some ex-pupils, helped Dorothy to celebrate at a party at her Wickham home.

The 100-year old, who is hard of hearing and finds it difficult to see, addressed the congregated crowd and spoke of her memories.

She made the audience laugh with her witty anecdotes and tales.

Dorothy said: ‘One day I went for a walk with my mother and we met a very old gentleman. Before he left he turned to me, a seven-year-old, and said “I want you, my dear, to remember me because I was born in the reign of King William IV”.’

She said the biggest changes she has seen have been in communication, the value of money and in women’s rights.

Dorothy said: ‘Who would have ever thought that we would have a woman prime minister and that women would go to university and train for all kinds of jobs.’

She also plugged her latest achievement, her book Three Gardens, about gardens at Sherborne House, Abbey School in Sherborne and her beloved garden in Wickham.

Children from Sherborne House made Dorothy a birthday card and she was presented with a photo of the pupils. The current headteacher of Sherborne House, Heather Hopson-Hill, gave a touching tribute to Dorothy.

She said: ‘The school still feels like her school. It’s changed and grown but it’s kept the same atmosphere.

‘There’s a photo of her in the main hall and every day I look at it and say “I will try my best Dorothy”. She is still very much part of the school.’

Dorothy who lives independently, thanked her friend and neighbour Di Frost who often calls on her and helps her with everyday things.

After her speech, a tree was planted in the garden to mark the occasion and a birthday cake was shared.

Dorothy’s book Three Gardens is available through Amazon for £9.99.