London’s oldest woman says “I still feel 21” as she celebrates her 108th birthday.
Betty Spear celebrated her milestone birthday with family and friends last week at her care home in Sutton.
When asked to share her secret to her old age, Betty said: “Be nice to people, try and make them laugh and a little drop of whiskey every day.”
To mark her special day, Betty was treated to a surprise birthday at St Jude’s Nursing Home in Mayfield Road.
She was joined by staff and her son-in-law, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, as well as the local mayor.
When asked what she had enjoyed the most about her birthday celebrations, Betty said: “Everything. Especially the card from the Queen, seeing Ken and the children, my lovely party with my friends and the doves. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart.”
Betty was born in Athy, Ireland, in 1913 and has survived two world wars, witnessed women getting the right to vote and now lived through a global pandemic.
Betty, whose real name is Sarah Spear, moved to London at the age of 18 to become a nurse.
She began practicing in Carshalton, Surrey, where she met and married her husband George Spear in 1947, before giving birth to their daughter, Anne.
Sadly, Betty outlived both her daughter and husband, but has always “remained positive and full of joy in the face of adversity”.
St Jude’s has remained one of the only care homes within the region to be Covid-free, but Betty’s party was the first the home has been able to throw since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Patricia Fyfe, Matron at St Jude’s Nursing Home, said: “We are honoured to be celebrating Betty’s 108th birthday.
“Betty brings her warmth, kind heart with quick wit to the home and we are all blessed to have her as part of our St Jude’s family.
“To start the celebrations, Betty was treated to a pamper session with our hairdresser and care team.
“The afternoon brought about a surprise party in the garden with games, a cake and a very special dove release to mark this extra special day.
“This party was extra special for the whole home.
“We have been careful to uphold our stringent processes and protocols to safeguard our residents and staff.
“These celebrations are a lovely way to bring everyone together in a safe and secure way.”