Real Lives: Family jets in from Oz for Lizzie’s 100th celebration

Family members jetted in from Down Under to celebrate the 100th birthday of Lizzie Brown.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 3rd April 2012, 1:00 pm

The centenarian, who lives at Pentland Hill Nursing Home in Corstorphine, celebrated the milestone on Sunday.

Born Elizabeth Keirnan, Lizzie was the third of eight children and spent her early childhood in the Capital’s Lothian Street.

She went to school at York Place and in 1938 met the man who was to become her husband, James Brown, a postman until his retirement. He died in 1996.

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The couple married at St Columba’s Church in Upper Gray Street and moved to Stewart Terrace in Gorgie.

Lizzie worked at Crawfords Bakery and the couple went on to have two children – James, who died in 2004, and John, 72, who now lives in Melbourne, Australia.

John, who flew over for the celebrations with his wife, Sheila, said: “After the war I don’t remember my mum working much.

“After she moved from Stewart Terrace she lived in Gladstone Terrace in the Meadows until the age of 94 and then moved to Pentland Hill Nursing Home, where she has lived for five-and-a-half years.”

Lizzie has three grandchildren – Cameron, Fiona and Matthew – and three great grandchildren – Oscar, Fraser and Aiden – all of whom live in Australia, and has been to the country twice on visits.

Lizzie also has a sister, Rita, 82, who lives in Canada.

A party thrown at Pentland Hill Nursing Home was attended by 30 family and friends.

“Everybody had a bit of a sing-song,” said John.

“My mum is very independent, one of the last of the old breed of Scottish women – hard working, simple tastes, takes everything a day at a time.

“She does have a very quirky sense of humour. I have never known her to lose her temper and I have tested her many times!”

Lizzie received a telegram congratulating her on her achievement from the Queen.

John said: “My mother is very hard of hearing and now has cataracts, but she has a bit of banter with visitors who come to see her.

“When she was younger she was very fond of the dancing and she used to go a few times a week – she kept it up for a long, long time until she didn’t have anybody left to go with.

“My mother also used to do a lot of visiting, she was always very caring and used to visit friends who had become incapacitated.

“She was renowned for going and visiting people on the quiet, just in her own way – she always put others before herself.”

Grace Sloan, home manager at the nursing home, said: “Lizzie is much loved and very popular with everyone here at Pentland Hill.

“We celebrated her big day with a special party with Lizzie’s friends and family.

“We all want to wish her a very happy birthday – and many more of them!”