Daventry resident Phillis Turner celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday (Tuesday) surrounded by friends and family.
Town mayor Ron Fox visited Longlands Care Home on the day to congratulate the 100 year-old, who was born just days before British and German soldiers held their famous First World War Christmas truce in 1914.
Phillis, who has seen great change in her lifetime, survived the German attack on Coventry during the Second World War before settling down to a quiet life in Bugbrooke for more than 30 years.
After her beloved husband Douglas passed away, Phillis decided to move house to be close to her only daughter Anne Jenkins.
In her spare time Phillis, a practicing Christian, enjoyed attending her local church and often volunteered to help to those in need.
A keen cook, she was known in her community for her love of baking cakes and a variety of dishes to treat friends and family. She was often to be found busily knitting or making tapestries until her sight deteriorated. When asked what it is like having a birthday so close to Christmas Day, Phillis smiled cheekily and said: “Well it doesn’t really bother me, what can you do really, it’s the day I was born!”
Phillis said she did not know what her secret was to her long life, but only that it is important to appreciate the good things.
“I have had a lovely life, a wonderful husband and a beautiful daughter,” Phillis said. “I’ve been lucky.”
Her daughter Anne added: “Mum always said and still says – ‘live for today’ and she always has lived with that saying in mind.”
Phillis has been a resident at Longlands Care Home for the past three years after deciding, with her daughter, to make the difficult move into full time care to get the help and support she needed to maintain a decent quality of life. But support worker Lesley Bovington, who is Phillis’ key worker, said she soon made herself comfortable.
“Phillis settled in really well and soon made sure that we were all aware of her need for tea,” Lesley said. “She drinks a lot of tea every day and hates it if her cup is empty for too long!”