Family has a golden year

pic lisa ferguson 25/01/2011'Joanne, James and Leah(6) Baillie who all have unusual birthdays this year
pic lisa ferguson 25/01/2011'Joanne, James and Leah(6) Baillie who all have unusual birthdays this year

2011 has every sign of being an extra-lucky year for the Baillie family.

For it’s the year that all three celebrate their Golden Birthdays, an event that has been taken up as a special date across the United States in recent years but has long held significance in other parts of the world.

Little Leah has already celebrated hers, turning six on January 6. Dad James will celebrate his on Sunday, January 30, when he turns 30. Mum Joanne has nearly a year to wait, but will celebrate her Golden Birthday when she reaches her 29th birthday on December 29.

The family, who live in Grangemouth, hadn’t realised the significance of this year.

Joanne, who is an administrator with Forth Valley NHS Trust based at Falkirk Community Hospital, said: “A work colleague of my husband, Gary, first pointed it out.

“But I share an office with a woman whose mum is Maltese, and she said that in Malta the year when your age matches your birth date is regarded as your lucky birthday.

“I don’t know just how common or unusual it is – it might have happened in other families and they’ve not realised. We would not have realised anything about it if it hadn’t been pointed out to us.”

The good luck has already started for the family. Arriving to start his street cleansing shift with Falkirk Council on Leah’s birthday, James discovered he had won the “bonus ball” draw amongst his colleagues – with number six!

Joanne said: “We will definitely be buying a lottery ticket on our birthdays!”

An American parenting expert is laying claim to being the creator of the Golden Birthday concept in the United States, having written a book on ways of celebrating Golden Birthdays and promoting the idea via a website.

Joan Bramsch said: “For over half a Century the Bramsch family celebrated each member’s unique, once in a lifetime Golden Birthday.

“It began with our own five children, but the idea soon spread to our extended family and the families of all our friends. We are now happily celebrating our grandchildren’s Golden Birthdays. Gradually it spread from one family to the next, from city to city, from state to state, and now it is celebrated worldwide.”