A Glasgow great-grandmother who was eight when the First World War broke out is set to join an exclusive club by becoming Scotland’s second oldest woman, turning 108-years-old today.
Meg Melvin, born on 7 August 1906, will celebrate with a party and buffet organised by her carers at Bield’s Dundas Court in Glasgow, where she has lived for the past ten years.
Surrounded by friends and family, the former cleaner who worked until she was 92-years-old, has remained active crediting her long life to never thinking about her age.
Donald Melvin, Meg’s 75-year-old son, will help his mum celebrate the special day, along with family, friends and residents at the very sheltered accommodation.
He said: “Being able to celebrate mum’s birthday at Dundas Court is just fantastic. The staff have organised the entire day but kept details of the party a bit of a surprise from us.
“All we know is to turn up on the day and everything will be taken care of.
“Mum has led a very long and happy life, being a grandmother to eight and a great-grandmother to a further eight. I think what really keeps her young though is that she never thinks of age. If she thinks she can do something, she just goes for it.
“Between socialising, playing bingo and having great support from the staff team at Dundas Court, Meg has a fantastic outlook on life. She’s seen so much throughout her life, including five monarchs and 20 prime ministers so has memories very few people in Scotland still have.”
Born in Dundee, but brought up in Govanhill, Meg worked in a sweet and fruit shop when she left school before becoming the manager of a cleaning company. She then went on to marry her late husband who died in 1960, having three children, Donald, now 75, Margaret, 73 and Billy 69.
Meg then lived independently until she was 99-years-old before moving to Bield’s very sheltered accommodation but has remained active by socialising with other residents, knitting and her favourite pastime bingo- which she plays every weekend.
Despite her impressive age, the only health problem she has suffered from is cataracts in her eyes which has stopped her from participating in as many activities.
However, staff at Dundas Court are always keen to keep residents active, both mentally and physically, with Meg enjoying the recent Commonwealth Games by watching and cheering the Scotland team on with other residents.
Kathy Crombie, Communications and Marketing Business Manager at Bield, said: “Meg’s 108th birthday is a remarkable achievement – and a cause for much celebration for her and her family and for everyone at Bield. It’s testament to the fact that Bield’s older people are free to enjoy life, free to be who they want to be and free to continue to make the most of life.
“It really does brighten our day to know Bield does make a difference. What bigger achievement is there than knowing that through the provision of quality housing and care services we have enabled 27 centenarians to live independent fulfilling lives – and they continue to live their lives to the full.
“The common factor – there doesn’t seem to be one apart from happiness and a daily smile. Our staff know that bringing a smile to work each day costs nothing and when they see the difference they make it gives them a smile too.”
Bield – a registered charity in their 43rd year of business – has grown from humble beginnings, opening its first housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and care services for around 20,000 older people across 22 local authorities.