A Banff pensioner says the trick to a long life is “hard work and perseverance” as she turns 100 today.
Mina Lownie said she was “overwhelmed” by the number of well-wishers who have reached out for her big day.
Friends and family alike have sent cards and flowers to her home in King Edward village alongside a telegraph from the Queen.
The whole family is preparing to begin their festive celebrations early with a celebratory meal in her honour.
Mrs Lownie credits her longevity to “good luck, hard work and perseverance.”
She said: “I have had lovely cards, and flowers from lots of people. I’m overwhelmed really with the kindness of the people here.”
Hard work and determination
Mrs Lownie was born on December 24, 1921 in the small fishing village of Gourdon.
Aged just eight, she first laid eyes on her future husband James before becoming best friends.
The childhood sweethearts left school aged 14 and courted from then until they married in a small ceremony in an Aberdeen registry office when they were just 18.
Following a five-year separation while James served in the Royal Navy Reserves, the pair were reunited and went on to to run a successful fish selling business for 50 years.
The couple eventually retired aged 82, and took up dancing.
Aged 92, the couple moved from their home in Gourdon to Banff to be closer to family.
Mr Lownie died two years ago, aged 98.
Mrs Lownie says some of her fondest memories are the times she spent with her beloved husband.
She added: “It’s difficult to pick one fondest memory. I have lots of fond memories.
“My husband and I lived together for practically 80 years and that’s well worth remembering.
“We were married two months shy of 80 years and we always worked together. We were married in 1939 and lived through all the war years. He was away for five years so it’s a long way back.
“My husband always said it was patience and perseverance and just working together.
“We retired from work at the age of 82 and then we took up afternoon tea and dancing.
“We made the most of it.”
Mrs Lownie said family is “very important”.
She has four great grandchildren and four great, great grandchildren.
Keeping up with the times
When it comes to Mrs Lownie, age really is just a number.
On a daily basis the pensioner completes a 30-minute cycle on an exercise bike at home before playing piano.
She says staying active helps to keep her hands nimble and fit and prevents her fingers from stiffening up.
She’s also still able to do her own shopping while on days out with grandaughter Jennifer Archibald.
With the colder winter weather setting in, Mrs Lownie’s family began showing her how to use an iPad.
Her grandaughter, who lives right next door, said she’s amazed at how quickly she has picked it up.
“I think it’s amazing how at 99, two months ago, my granny couldn’t work a mobile phone and she is actually mastered an iPad,” she said.
“My husband and I are quite amazed at how she has picked it up.
Mrs Lowrie added: “I do enjoy the iPad and I’m learning a lot from it. I’m amazed at the information I can get. I’m just going with the flow now.”
To mark the milestone occasion, beloved relatives are preparing to come together this evening for a celebratory dinner at Banff Springs Hotel.
Jennifer says her granny is a “great inspiration to others” due her strength and determination.
She said: “I was concerned, I have to say, about my granny because she had been with my granda for such a long time and I wasn’t really quite sure how she would be after that because obviously she’s profoundly bereaved.
“I’m quite amazed that she’s making the best of what’s she got left. She hasn’t stopped.
She’s got the grit to keep going and try and look after herself, to look ahead. She’s always quite positive about things.
“There is a definite strength. She is great.”
Mrs Lowrie is looking forward to a Christmas surrounded by family and said: “I’m pretty optimistic and I’m a very determined person when I get something into my head.”