Wilton Health Centre’s caretaker since 1978, Marilyn Sainsbury, who sees no reason to stop, had a big surprise today, November 30.

Her son, Jeremy Sainsbury, organised a lunch gathering for his hard-working mother at the Pembroke Arms today, where family, friends and colleagues celebrated her 40-year achievement.

As the star of the show, 73-year-old Marilyn received flowers and congratulations from guests who also enjoyed the buffet with tea and coffee.

“I’m just overwhelmed with the reception I got here today, it was completely unexpected,” Marilyn said.

“I’ve loved working at the health centre for 40 years and have no intention of retiring yet. While I’m enjoying it, I’ll keep doing it.

Jeremy was delighted to have had so many colleagues and friends celebrating with his mother.

“I think it’s a magnificent achievement. Me and my family are extremely proud of her,” he said.

Current and former colleagues had only good things to add.

Dr Kara Barnett, GP at the health centre, said Marilyn is always supportive and encouraging.

“She’s lovely to staff and always has a kind word for patients as well, it’s a pleasure and privilege to work with her,” she said.

Partner at Wilton Health Centre Dr Richard Brown has worked with Marilyn since 1994.

“She’s been wonderful and the most committed person I’ve ever worked with in this context,” he said.

“There have been times when she may have been slightly critical of some of my colleagues who weren’t as tidy as some of the rest of us, but that was all part of life’s rich pageantry.”

According to colleague Mrs Jane Sanderson, Marilyn keeps the practice spotless.

“We always tell her not to go too crazy,” she said. “Whatever day it is, she’s always the same lovely Marilyn, and we would have been lost without here.”

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