Surrounded by her family and closest friends, Kathleen Green celebrated her 100th birthday (Sunday 10 September) at Basingfield Court Residential Care Home on Huish Lane.
Born in Farnham, Surrey, Kath grew up in Alton with her wartime entertainer parents, instilling in her a great love of music and dance from a very young age. Kath’s mother was a pianist, and her father a drummer who together, went by the name of ‘The Pops’ as they entertained the troops during World War 1.
It was love at first sight for childhood sweethearts, Kath and husband-to-be Tom who met one day outside the school gates. Tom asked Kath to marry him on Friday 1 September 1939, the first day of World War 2 when Kath had just turned 22 years old.
During the war, Kath did not follow in her parent’s footsteps but instead took up the role of an Air Raid Warden throughout the entire war; with her then husband Tom, however Kath never lost her passion for dancing. One of her favourite pastimes, she would regularly go to dances with her husband.
One of the things Kath is most proud of in her 100 years is not her own achievements but those of her talented son, Clive. Clive was born shortly before the end of the war and went on to perform in the West End musical Oliver by Lionel Bart, as a young boy and right through into adulthood. Sadly, Clive has since passed away but Kath will always be proud of him.
As well as having a passion for dance, Kath has also always been very passionate about helping those less fortunate than herself. Following her husband’s death, Kath became even more active in supporting those who have also experienced loss raising money for the homeless and previously Russian refugee children.
Now at 100 years old, Kath’s family has blossomed to include three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren and when asked what her secret was to becoming a centenarian she said: “Always be inquisitive, always help others and dance, dance, dance!”
The Sanctuary Care home’s activities lead, Tracy Mercer described Kath: “Kath is a lovely lady who still has the most wonderful zest for life; she has a fantastic dry sense of humour and is sharp as a tack. She is a pretty amazing lady.”