Family celebrate a teacher’s century

Gladys Gibson spent a lot of time helping others

Gladys Gibson spent a lot of time helping others

0
Have your say

A RETIRED teacher who ran a meals-on-wheels service and distributed clothes to hard-pressed families in her community has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Gladys Gibson was joined by family, friends and all the staff and residents at Astley House Care Home, in North Berwick, for a party to mark the milestone.

She received a telegram from the Queen and a special cake from Greggs the bakers.

Born in 1913, she first attended Melrose Grammar School and then attended Galashiels Academy, where she travelled by train from Melrose. It was during this time she met her future husband, Bill.

Gladys was a good student – she was accepted to Edinburgh University in the 1930s, where she studied Latin and Greek.

When her father’s health deteriorated and the family began to worry about money, Gladys changed her course to teaching at Moray House and went on to land a job near Kelso.

Bill and Gladys got married on April 26, 1946, just after the war. In January 1951, they had a daughter, Leyden.

Gladys was a keen member of the community, lending her time and effort to the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service as well as enthusiastically organising meals-on-wheels and collecting blankets and clothing for distribution to those who needed it most.

She joined the WRVS in the late 1950s, when she would give lectures to fellow members entitled “How to prepare yourself in the event of an A-bomb attack”. By the early 70s, she was the county organiser for Roxburghshire.

After resigning in 1974, Gladys and Bill retired to Gullane, where the pair spent their time enjoying their mutual passion of golf. She continued to play frequently after Bill’s death in 1980, while she also enjoyed exhibitions and concerts, particularly at the Edinburgh Festival.

A keen traveller, Gladys visited Hong Kong, South Africa, Crete, mainland Greece and even took a cruise to the Baltic States.

Her daughter Leyden Fields reflected: “It is with great affection we remember my mum on her 100th birthday, as she surrounds herself with family and friends, we can reflect over the past 100 years from travel by horse and cart, two world wars, moon landings and now cyberspace.

“She is still a fervent supporter of Hawick rugby team. When my parents settled in Maxton, my father worked as a county surveyor for Roxburghshire in Newton St Boswell’s. My mother established a small holding with hens and a good sized vegetable garden.

“She still tells the story of how one day she got 13 eggs from 12 hens. Her life was good.”

Gladys said the secret to a long and happy life was a sip of whisky or glass of red wine every day.