Scotland’s Second Oldest Woman Turns 108-years-old

by Melissa Clark

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Bield Meg melvin 108th Birthday Dundas Court-6129A Glasgow great-grandmother who was eight when the First World War broke out is set to join an exclusive club by becoming Scotland’s second oldest woman, turning 108-years-old this week.

Meg Melvin, born on 7 August 1906, celebrated with a party and buffet organised by her carers at Bield’s Dundas Court in Glasgow, where she has lived for the past ten years.

Surrounded by friends and family, the former cleaner who worked until she was 92-years-old, has remained active crediting her long life to never thinking about her age and having a little bit of everything in moderation.

Check out a full gallery of images from Meg’s birthday celebrations  here

Donald Melvin, Meg’s 75-year-old son, helped his mum celebrate the special day, along with family, friends and residents at the very sheltered accommodation.

He said: “Being able to celebrate mum’s birthday at Dundas Court is just fantastic. The staff have organised the entire day but kept the details of the party a bit of a surprise from us.

Huge effort

“It was fantastic to turn up and see the huge amount of effort that everyone involved had gone too. It was quite overwhelming.

“Mum has led a very long and happy life, being a grandmother to eight and a great-grandmother to a further eight. I think what really keeps her young though is that she never thinks of her age and perhaps her trusty daily bowl of Alpen has had something to do with it.

“Between socialising, playing bingo and having great support from the staff team at Dundas Court, Meg has a fantastic outlook on life. She’s seen so much throughout her life, including five monarchs and 20 prime ministers so has memories very few people in Scotland still have.

“She’s never been a typical mother, you could always tell her everything as her answer would always be to do everything in life in moderation and live life to the full.”

Born in Dundee, but brought up in Govanhill, Meg worked in a sweet and fruit shop when she left school before becoming the manager of a cleaning company. She then went on to marry her late husband who died in 1960, having three children, Donald, now 75, Margaret, 73 and Billy 69.

Independent living

Meg then lived independently until she was 99-years-old before moving to Bield’s very sheltered accommodation but has remained active by socialising with other residents, knitting and her favourite pastime bingo- which she plays every weekend.

Delighted Meg, said, “It’s been a wonderful day and I am over the moon to have all of my friends and family in one place to celebrate this special day.

“I’ve seen a lot of change in Glasgow in my time. You can’t even get change from a pound anymore!

“My husband died in 1960 so he would have a lot to say about all the changes but I’ve lived a long and happy life. It’s all about enjoying it and taking things in moderation.

“The staff here have really made today so special, it was all a great surprise and I can’t thank them enough.”Bield Meg melvin 108th Birthday Dundas Court-6137

Despite her impressive age, the only health problem she has suffered from is cataracts in her eyes which has stopped her from participating in as many activities.

However, staff at Dundas Court are always keen to keep residents active, both mentally and physically, with Meg enjoying the recent Commonwealth Games by watching and cheering the Scotland team on with other residents.

Bield Success Stories

Kathy Crombie, Communications and Marketing Business Manager at Bield, said: “Meg’s 108th birthday is a remarkable achievement – and a cause for much celebration for her and her family and for everyone at Bield. It’s testament to the fact that Bield’s older people are free to enjoy life, free to be who they want to be and free to continue to make the most of life.

“It really does brighten our day to know Bield does make a difference. What bigger achievement is there than knowing that through the provision of quality housing and care services we have enabled 27 centenarians to live independent fulfilling lives – and they continue to live their lives to the full.

“The common factor – there doesn’t seem to be one apart from happiness and a daily smile. Our staff know that bringing a smile to work each day costs nothing and when they see the difference they make it gives them a smile too.”

Bield – a registered charity in their 43rd year of business – has grown from humble beginnings, opening its first housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and care services for around 20,000 older people across 22 local authorities.

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Melissa Clark

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