Dorothy enjoys family reunion for birthday

Dorothy Anderson with her birthday cards.
Dorothy Anderson with her birthday cards.

Selkirk’s newest centenarian, Dorothy Anderson, celebrated her milestone 100th birthday last week.

And Friday the 13th proved to be far from unlucky for Dorothy as she spent her special day with three generations of her family from as far afield as Canada, plus her friends and her favourite lunch of fish and chips.

Dorothy Anderson and her family.

Dorothy Anderson and her family.

She was born in Carlisle in 1917, but her father, a consultant surgeon, died when she was just two. Her mother, left widowed and with two young daughters, moved the family to the south coast of England, and Dorothy grew up near Folkestone in Kent.

After her school years, she spent time in Germany teaching Jewish children to speak English and even witnessed Adolf Hitler speaking at a rally.

Returning to England, Dorothy trained as a secretary and enlisted with the Women’s Royal Naval Service at the outbreak of the Second World War, being stationed at Dover Castle in the build-up to the D-Day landings of 1944.

After the war, Dorothy married Richard and moved back to Cumbria, where the couple welcomed the arrival of son Tim and daughter Pam.

That family has since grown to include seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

She said: “It’s been absolutely marvellous to have everybody here.”

Dorothy bought her first laptop computer for her 80th birthday, only gave up driving on her 90th birthday and until last year she went to keep-fit classes regularly.

Her children Tim and Pam put their mother’s longevity down to her active lifestyle and determination, but Dorothy isn’t so sure.

“I haven’t a clue”, she said. “I ate a little of everything, got outside every day and took in plenty of fresh air.”

She spent her birthday with family and friends at Riverside Healthcare Centre, where she has lived since she moved to Selkirk in 2012 to be nearer family following the death of her husband.

Activities coordinator at Riverside Healthcare Centre, Karen Smith, added: “All of the staff and residents at Riverside with Dorothy a fantastic day on her 100th birthday. We have had a great time celebrating with her.”