The odd drop of sherry has helped a Plymstock lady reach her 100th birthday.
Elsie Daw has celebrated her milestone birthday with a party at Sanctuary Care’s Furzehatt Residential and Nursing Home in Plymstock.
Secrets to reaching 100
Born on Monday 6th September 1915, Elsie puts her secret to reaching 100 down to her “strong faith” and the occasional tipple. Elsie said: “I feel so lucky to reach such a special birthday, if I had to put it down to anything I would have to say it’s my strong faith and the small glass of sherry from time to time.”
All started in Wotter
The birthday girl was born in Wotter, near Plymouth, where she lived with her late sister Mary and parents William and Elsie Elizabeth Mary Selleck.
Growing up in the small village on the Western edge of Dartmoor, Elsie attended Plympton Grammar School which supported her career in secretarial work. Breaking the gender rules, the birthday girl’s first job was as a wages clerk at Hemerdon Mine, where Elsie was the only female in the workforce.
Finding love at 21
Elsie went onto progress her career as a shorthand typist in the secretarial field in many working ventures, with one leading her to meet the love of her life.
Working in the city treasury office, Elsie met Edwin Stuart Daw – known as Ted, at 21 in 1936. The pair went on to marry and have two sons, Bill, who still lives in Wotter and Bob, who has since relocated to Guildford, Surrey.
Supporting charities and claims to fame
As well as supporting her family and raising her two boys, Elsie’s other interests over the last 100 years have ranged from playing the organ at church to supporting charities close to her heart. To date, she has amazingly made over 1,000 handbags to help raise money for charity appeals.
When asked if she has had any claims to fame over the years, Elsie added: “Not really, but I played the organ at the local church for 60 years and loved every minute – I even played at Kim’s [home manager] wedding!”
Four generations on
The Daw family has now blossomed to four generations and has spread as far as Australia. Elsie’s four grandchildren – Darren, 48, Nicholas, 44, Suzanne, 36 and Christopher, 32, and two great grandchildren, Alex, 14 and Charlotte, 10 joined her two sons for family celebrations.
Elsie’s oldest son, Bill, said: “It’s wonderful to have celebrated mum’s 100th birthday. She has done so much for us over the years and we feel very lucky to have reached such a milestone with her.”
Furzehatt proud to be part of the celebrations
The home’s manager Kim Newitt concluded: “Elsie is a marvellous and extremely independent lady with a warm smile and we are so proud to have celebrated her special birthday with her.”
Birthday celebrations took place at the home, which provides dementia care and nursing care, brought the team and fellow residents together to wish Elsie many happy returns at a traditional tea party with homemade cake.