Hard work the key to Lily’s longevity

Lily Dow with Lord Lieutenant Isobel Brydie and Provost Tom Kerr
Lily Dow with Lord Lieutenant Isobel Brydie and Provost Tom Kerr
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A DAIRY farmer and former Brown Owl has celebrated her 100th birthday.

Lily Dow, who hails from Bellsquarry in West Lothian, put her long life down to “hard work and plain food”.

Lily, who also likes a brandy and Babycham in the evening, suggested this might have aided her longevity.

She has led an extremely active life and never married. She has a wide circle of friends and family and an active social life.

As a Brown Owl for 40 years at the Mid Calder Brownie pack, she would lead thousands of girls at regular meetings, camps and activities.

Lily was a member of the Bellsquarry SWRI for 70 years, where she enjoyed meeting with other women to debate local issues and taking part in activities from cooking demonstrations to craft classes.

She was also an active member of the East Lothian Farmwomen’s Club and, in her precious spare time, enjoyed nothing more than going to the opera.

Just last year she moved to the Woodlands Nursing Home, in Dedridge, where she instantly became a popular resident.

To mark her landmark occasion, Provost Tom Kerr presented Lily with a bouquet of flowers on behalf of West Lothian Council.

The Lord Lieutenant of West Lothian, Isobel Brydie, brought her a birthday card from the Queen.

• A WAR hero who carried out dozens of bombing raids over Nazi-occupied Europe has been honoured in a special ceremony.

Flight engineer sergeant John Patterson, from Livingston, was presented with a clasp by Labour MP Graeme Morrice. It follows the decision to recognise the bravery of veterans who served in Bomber Command during the Second World War with a new medal.

John, who celebrated his 90th birthday in February, beat the odds, as only 27 per cent of those in the crew during the war survived a tour of operations, which was 30 missions. He took part in 32 bombing raids over Nazi-occupied Europe during his time in the RAF.

Born in Twynholm, Kirkcudbrightshire, on February 4, 1923, John was the second of five children. After being demobbed in September 1946, he set up home in Kirkcudbright and married Sarah, who died four years ago, in 1949.

John had been due to receive the medal in a ceremony on Armed Forces Day in June but couldn’t attend after suffering a fall.

He said the recognition was “better late than never” and now wears the clasp, which attaches on to his 1939 to 1945 Star, with pride.

Mr Morrice said it was an honour to meet John and make the presentation.