When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Blackburn woman is second-old citizen in the country
IT was the best of British for a 105-year-old who emigrated to Blackburn after she created her very own little piece of history.
Sardar Begum is believed be the second oldest person ever to become a British Citizen in the United Kingdom.
The mother-of-seven received her certificate at a citizenship ceremony held at Bury Town Hall.
Born in Gujarat, Pakistan, in 1907, Mrs Begum came to the UK to join members of her family 14 years ago.
She has three sons, four daughters and 30 grandchildren.
She now lives with her daughter, Rizia Mushtaq, in the Broad Oak area of Bury.
The 105-year-old was one of 20 new citizens who attended the citizenship event at the town hall register office.
Haydn Keenan, registration office manager, said: “We thought this lady must be the oldest person to become a British Citizen in the United Kingdom. But we’ve since found out that Camden beat us to it in October with a woman aged 106.”
Also at the ceremony was Coun Shaheena Haroon, who is a key member of Bury Asian Women’s Centre.
They helped in the process of Mrs Begum receiving her citizenship, which is awarded by the Home Office.
Coun Haroon said: “She came to the UK to be with one of her daughters in Blackburn who was suffering domestic abuse.
“She is very happy in Bury and pleased that she is able to stay here. She loves it in the town.
“Despite the fact she is 105-years-old, Mrs Begum’s memory is very good and she recognises everyone. She is also very religious.”
“She was so pleased to be a part of it and was delighted to have her photograph taken with the mayor.”
Mrs Begum can look forward to another milestone as she is scheduled to celebrate her 106th birthday on New Year’s Day.