A Bield tenant at a development in Edinburgh has revealed his secret to a long life as he reaches his 102nd birthday.
Charles Hunter, who was born and bred in Edinburgh, believes that he has lived to reach this milestone birthday thanks to good genes – with his mother living until she was 103.
The former member of the Merchant Navy and RAF, who moved into Bield’s Liberton Park Court 27 years ago, recently celebrated this special event at the development surrounded by family and friends.
Charles said: “I think I must have inherited my mother’s long life gene as she was 103 years old when she died.
“My mother’s sister from Australia also lived to the age of 100 and my great-grandfather who was a fisherman in the Shetlands lived until his mid-nineties.
“I had one brother and two sisters and one of my sisters reached 95 years old, so I definitely think it runs in the family.”
Charles also believes that living a healthy and active lifestyle has helped him remain in good health.
He continued: “I have always made a point of drinking lots of water and having a proper breakfast of porridge, eggs and toast.
“Before I was married my interests were mainly sporting ones, I enjoyed swimming, hockey, football, boxing and running was my favourite. Later in life I gained an interest in DIY and I used to bake a lot, so I have always been an active person.”
During his childhood Charles attended South Morningside, Lorne Street and Burdiehouse primary schools before going on to George Heriot’s for secondary.
He was posted to Iraq and Yemen during the Second World War, and was eventually promoted to the rank of sergeant.
On leaving the military, he went on to spend much of his life working in the food industry as a warehouse manager.
Charles married his beloved wife, Rachel, in 1942 after being introduced through his sister Mina who worked alongside Rachel in the Navy, Army and Air Force Institues.
The couple, who shared the same birthday with Charles being just one year older, lived a long and happy life together, before Rachel passed away in 2012 at the age of 97.
Charles and Rachel had three children, two sons and a daughter. Their eldest son died in 2008.
He is a very proud grandfather to his eight grandchildren and great-grandchild, and he is expecting another great-grandchild in April.
Fay Evans, development manager Liberton Park Court, said: “He’s such a lovely person. He enjoys going out and about, especially in the summer time and he absolutely adores his grandchildren.
“He’s always very cheery and his birthday party was absolutely fantastic.
“At Bield, there is nothing better than seeing our tenants live long and happy lives and to share experiences like these with them makes our job so worthwhile.
“I would like to wish Charles a very happy birthday.”