Elsie Coleman had always dreamed of visiting the United States, but she thought it would only have been possible if she had won the Premium Bonds.
Elsie’s friends at USAF Lakenheath collected money so that her dream could come true and she was presented with a giant ticket allowing her to fly anywhere in America.
Senior Airman Steve Sheehan said: “Elsie has beeN a housekeeper on the base for 20 years and we thought it would be a nice gesture to get her a flight.
“When she received the ticket she was quite speechless with surprise.”
Staff at the base got together with local travel agents to arrange the surprise.
HEADLINES FROM THE PAST
10 YEARS AGO
West Suffolk Hospital was celebrating its best ever results in the 2006 National Staff Survey for the NHS.
Bury St Edmunds’ famous hospital was in the top 20% of acute trusts in the country in 13 out of 28 key areas in the study by the Healthcare Commission.
Jan Bloomfield, director of human resources at the time, said: ”Staff are working really hard while dealing with a lot of change, for which they deserve a lot of praise.”
However 44 per cent of staff responded that they had reported an error, near miss or incident which could have hurt patients or staff in the previous month, this was above the national average of 40 per cent and saw a rise from 2005.
25 YEARS AGO
Dozens of pairs of glasses were on their way to help poor–sighted people in Africa, thanks to the efforts of pupils at Honington Primary School.
The school urged villagers in Honington and Troston to give their old spectacles to the British Optical Mission – a group of British opticians who are linked with a similar group in Africa.
Collection points were set up at the school and village post offices. Headteacher at Honington, Mr Colin Francis said: ”The glasses can be matched up with African people’s needs, it is actually a form of recycling which can help people without access to an optician or who are too poor to buy expensive glasses.”
100 YEARS AGO
While Sir Douglas Haig’s latest report leaves the position in the region of our advance practically unchanged, it is on the French front that the pricipal developments of the weekend have occurred.
Here on both sides of La Fere our allies have gained important successes, which may result in turning the new German line.
As far as that line actually rested on La Fere it is already broken. The banks of the Oise north–west of the town have been reached after heavy fighting, and two of the outer defence posts of La Fere itself have fallen.
A desperate battle yesterday, resulting from a French offensive, gave our allies important positions south of St Quentin.