From the moon landing and the Watergate scandal to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the first commercial flight of Concorde, lifelong Press and Journal reader Wilson Murison has lived through more major events than most.
But today it’s Wilson’s turn to make the headlines of his beloved P&J, the newspaper he has never missed an edition of, as he celebrates his 90th birthday.
Sprightly and fiercely independent, Wilson will mark the milestone by walking round to Duthie’s, his local newsagent in Tarves, to pick up his favourite paper, a daily routine that hasn’t changed in 65 years, even during lockdown.
He will then kick off his birthday celebrations by doing what makes him happiest – the Press and Journal crossword.
“For as long as I can remember he has had a Press and Journal daily, so this would be around 65 years,” said his daughter Kathleen Sutherland, who lives in Inverness.
“On every one of these days he has done the cryptic crossword with determination to complete it.
“In his younger years if he didn’t finish it, he would confab with his friend from work and it soon became their daily ritual.”
After hearing about Wilson’s special birthday and the fact that he has never missed a copy of the paper in all this time, the Press and Journal decided to mark the occasion by presenting him with flowers, a card and a special version of our crossword pen.
“Oh what a lovely surprise,” said Wilson.
“Every morning I get up, have some breakfast and walk round to the newsagents to pick up the Press and Journal.
“I’ve never missed a copy in my lifetime, apart from when I’ve maybe been away on holiday.
“The crossword definitely keeps me young as it keeps my mind active.”
Born on October 13 1931 in Shethin Farm, just outside Tarves, Wilson then moved to the Udny area, attending Udny Green School before settling in Tarves.
He spent over 45 years working as a poultry handiman with Messrs James Durno on Uppermill Farm.
After marrying his soulmate Helen, the couple went on to have three children, Kathleen, Sheila and Wilson.
Sadly Helen passed away in 1990, aged just 51, after battling cancer.
But during these difficult times and throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Wilson found a place of solace and comfort in the Press and Journal, especially the crossword.
“It helped my dad pass long days during lockdown and evenings when he lost his wife at a young age,” said Kathleen.
His love of the Press and Journal has also passed down to his son, Wilson Junior, who also never misses an edition.
“I think the crossword has helped to keep my dad young,” said Wilson Jun.
“He gets up in the morning and has his breakfast and the first thing he wants to do is get down to Duthie’s, the local shop, to get his newspaper, get back up the road and have a good look at the crossword.”
In awe of her dad, Sheila Williamson, the middle of his three children, says he has been an inspiration the way he has coped with everything that life has thrown at him.
“He became independent very quickly after my mum died,” said Sheila.
“He does most of his cooking.”
To celebrate the special occasion, Wilson will join his family for a slap-up meal at the Aberdeen Arms Hotel in Tarves tonight.
But not before he finishes his crossword.