A Sanctuary Care resident from Milton Keynes is marking her 100th birthday surrounded by loved ones.
Florence Hastings who has spent her lifetime living around the globe has celebrated reaching her centenary with a family party at Caton House Residential and Nursing Home, where she has lived for four months.
When asked her secret to reaching such a great age Florence said: “My secrets are easy to remember – plenty of walking and never forgetting to take your vitamins.”
Born in 1915, Florence, one of five, was born and raised in Portsmouth, where she met the love of her life William.
Childhood sweethearts, Florence and her husband-to-be William grew up together, with William often looking out for his Florence at school, where she passed her 11+ exam.
Before marrying on Wednesday 18 August 1937 and going onto have their only son Alan, Florence started her long-serving career at the Post Office as soon as she left school, while William was busy serving in the RAF.
Only having a maternity break from her Post Office duties to have her son, Florence also turned her hand to voluntary work over the years, including providing man-hours for the WVS - Women's Voluntary Service.
Following William around the world with his RAF services, including living in Singapore and Aden, east coast of the Red Sea, Florence had many homes before she settled in Oldbrook, Milton Keynes.
Along with travelling for work purposes, Florence also enjoyed jet-setting experiences visiting relatives in America and Canada.
100 years on
Now at her 100 years, Florence’s family has blossomed into four generations with two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Florence’s son Alan, added: “Over the years, she has done so much for me, especially when dad was serving in the RAF and we were moving around so much. I ended up going to seven different schools, including four grammar schools and she was always there for me. She’s a wonderful mother and I will always be proud of her.”
Celebrating in style
For Florence’s special day, the care home which provides dementia care and nursing care for the elderly, hosted an afternoon of celebrations with local band, Rock of Ages entertaining guests while they sampled a tasty birthday cake.
Manager at the home, Isobel Scott said: “We are so incredibly proud of Florence. She is such a strong-willed lady and is an inspiration to us all. We are so happy to celebrate her special day with her.”