Happy 25th birthday to 100-year-old celebrating her leap year birthday with a telegram from the Queen and a game of bingo

A South Shields great-grandmother has turned 100-years-old but it is only her 25th birthday as she was born on a leap year.

By Sophie Brownson
Saturday, 29th February 2020, 12:38 pm
Leap year birthday for Mary Purvis who turns 100 years old
Leap year birthday for Mary Purvis who turns 100 years old

Mary Purvis celebrated her milestone birthday on Saturday, February 29, surrounded by friends and family, at her home in AnchorHanover’s Queen Elizabeth Court.

The inspiring woman has lived independently at the retirement home based on Hobart Avenue since 2014 and was able to mark the occasion with a special party in her honour.

And the day was made even more special by the fact that Mary was born on a leap year Year in 1920, meaning that she is technically only celebrating her 25th birthday.

Leap year birthday for Mary Purvis who turns 100 years old

Mrs Purvis was born in Rodsley Avenue, Gateshead, and at the age of 21 worked as a Seamstress for the Co-op and then at George Angus & Company Ltd in Newcastle throughout the Second World War.

After marrying her husband Richard, Mary went on to have a family and left work to raise her two sons and daughter.

Over the years she has enjoyed dancing four times a week, something she was still doing up until the age of 95.

The earliest memory she has is travelling over Newcastle’s High Level Bridge in the horse drawn bus with her dad and walking down from school to watch King George V open the now iconic Tyne Bridge.

Leap year birthday for Mary Purvis who turns 100 years old

Mary, who now has seven grandchildren and three-great-grandchildren, shared the secret to her long life.

Centenarian Mrs Purvis said her secret to a long life is a glass of sherry every night before bed!

Queen Elizabeth Court Manager Ian Short said Mrs Purvis loved life and is known to enjoy getting involved in a range of activities with her friends.

He said: “Mrs Purvis is a lovely tenant who is loved by all.

“She has a wicked sense of humour and a laugh to match!

“Mary always likes to take part in the activities in the retirement property, from Rookie Golf to a good game of Bingo, she’s there in the lounge getting involved, it’s great to see!”