A World War Two nurse with a passion for poetry has celebrated turning 100 at a Dunfermline retirement housing development.
Mary Wright McKean, now a tenant at Bield’s Gillie Court, was born in Edinburgh where she worked as a librarian, civil servant and as a nurse during the war.
Her time as a nurse is full of historical memories. Working at Bangour Hospital, in West Lothian, Mary aided in the innovative early work of reconstructive plastic surgery.
Each night Mary, a loyal Hearts FC fan, would travel back to her home in Slateford within the earshot of the cheers of Tynecastle and one evening grabbed a memorable lift with General Charles De Gaulle back into Edinburgh during the Blackout.
When asked her secret to longevity Mary cheekily answered:
“If we all knew that we would all live to over 100!
“But I definitely think everyone could do with worrying a little less.”
Notably, Mary spent time during the war working as a nurse in a military hospital in Drymen – where she would serve meals to imprisoned war criminal, Rudolf Hess.
From her time working as a librarian to now, Mary has always enjoyed poetry and literature. This lifelong love was celebrated when during her 50s she joined the Open University and achieved a BA in Classics.
Mary celebrated her action-packed life so far with two parties at Gillie Court, with friends, family and fellow tenants all in attendance.
Brenda Robertson, Manager at Gillie Court, said:
“Everyone at the development loves Mary and we’d like to say a big congratulations!
“We really enjoyed having both parties here ensuring everyone could wish the centenarian a happy birthday.”
Mary typifies Bield’s ‘Free to Be’ ethos, which aims to enable people to make their own choices and live as independently as possible.
more information about Bield can be found at www.bield.co.uk