“I got married at 21 in 1936, and now as I celebrate this birthday, I can’t help but think I’ve been 21 a few times over already!”
So said Eveline Annabell, of Toray Pines care home, in Coningsby, on reaching the impressive age of 104 – just shy of five lots of 21.
Eveline was born on April 21, 1915, meaning she has lived through two world wars, the moon landing, and the break-up of the Soviet Union, to name just a handful of historic events, plus 25 prime ministers – starting with Herbert Henry Asquith – and four British monarchs.
“I can’t quite believe I am that age, but I’ve had the loveliest of birthdays,” she said on turning 104. “I spent my actual birthday with family and managed to see my two granddaughters who I can’t quite believe are now studying at university. It was wonderful to see them all.”
After the family celebrations, Eveline returned to Toray Pines – her home since October 2016 – where staff had put balloons in her room and made her a home-made chocolate cake.
Eveline is one of the oldest residents in the Tanglewood group, which comprises six homes and more than 400 residents.
Remarkably, despite her age, she does not take any regular medication.
Katie More, registered manager at Toray Pines (pictured back, centre), marked Eveline’s birthday with a special announcement at the care home’s annual Easter party, held a few days earlier.
She said: “Eveline is a much-loved and valued member of the Tanglewood and Toray Pines family, so we wanted to give her a special and memorable day.
“I think she is an absolute inspiration actually. Everyone says she looks a lot younger than she actually is, and it’s true. She’s still sharp as a pin and it’s amazing that she doesn’t take any regular medication too.”
Events from 1915:
* The first German Zeppelin attack on the UK takes place, with Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn hit.
* In science, Albert Einstein presents part of his theory of general relativity to the Prussian Academy of Sciences, and Pluto is photographed for the first time.
* Women’s Institutes are established in Britain.
* In cinema, Charlie Chaplin’s The Tramp is released.
* Women gain the right to vote in national elections in Denmark, following on from New Zealand, Australia, Finland, and Norway.
* Births include: singer and actor Frank Sinatra, film director and actor Orson Welles, actor and comedian Sir Norman Wisdom, footballer Sir Stanley Matthews, and creator of Batman Bob Kane.