Dec 1 2011 by Sandra Walls, Hamilton Advertiser
A LANARKSHIRE woman celebrated her 100th birthday this week – and had her ‘big sister’ there as the special guest.
Isobel Summers enjoyed her celebration dinner with her family at the Strathaven Hotel on Sunday.
Her sister Millie (102), whom the Advertiser featured earlier this year, celebrated with her, as she too is a resident of Cander Avon Care Home.
Isobel, known as Bella, received a special card and message from the Queen and many bouquets of flowers and presents from family, friends and residents of Cander Avon, where she has lived since August, 2008.
Bella was born in Stonehouse and attended the Public School there. She left when she was 14 to start work in an office.
In later years she tended a local tomato house, worked in a butcher’s shop and turned her hand to cleaning, before settling down to marry her husband John.
Bella enjoyed the sound of the big band, which was great as her husband John was in the Stonehouse Pipe Band for many years. He died a few years ago.
The couple had three daughters, Grace, Jeanette and Jean and Bella now has lots of grandchildren.
The family loved going on caravanning holidays and Bella greatly enjoyed dancing.
Nowadays, she still likes to listen and take part in the weekly music entertainment in Cander Avon, and has struck up a few good friendships with other residents, especially her close friend Jean Drinnan who is in her 80s.
Bella was a member of the Stonehouse WRI for many years and is now an honorary life member.
The WRI sent their best wishes for her 100th birthday.
Bella said: “I used to enjoy attending the Stonehouse WRI and also the Rural Pensioners Club and I like to go to the weekly performances that Cander Avon organise.
“I’m also a fan of Prince William and have a calendar of his pictures in my bedroom right alongside all my family pictures.”
Senior duty worker Lorraine Young added: “Bella is a very popular resident. She gets on brilliantly with all the staff and is well-liked by the residents.
“She and her pal Jean are inseparable and go around everywhere together.
“Her family are very attentive and visit regularly.
“She is a lovely genuine lady, is very dignified and proud and she enjoys chatting to other residents visitors too.
“She has had such an exciting and whirlwind busy weekend with all the visits and going out to dinner.
“The whole place is full of the flowers she was sent for her birthday.”
The Advertiser asked Bella her secret for such a long and happy life. She said: “Marry a nice-looking man, keep a nice house, keep a happy family, eat good old-fashioned Scottish food like mince, tatties and dumplings and take an Advocaat on special occasions.”
Seems like the best advice from the 100-year-old birthday girl.