A LOCAL woman celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday surrounded by friends, family and special guests.
Meg Napier, (christened Maggie) was born at 81 Montrose Street, Brechin. She was the second youngest of nine children.
When she was nine years old, her father died, and Meg is very proud of the way in which her mother managed to bring them all up.
Meg attended Andover Primary School, and Bank Street Secondary. She proudly relates that, at 14 years of age she left the school on the Friday and was ready to start work in Smarts factory as a trainee weaver the following Monday.
She later went to work in the Co-operative Butchers, and recalls that when the men had to go to serve in the First World War, she was allowed to serve in the front shop.
However, she left after a spell and went back to the factory. She also worked for a while at Syme’s the ironmonger where she was in charge of the china and crystal and liked this very much indeed.
Meg’s happiest working days were in her sweetie shop beside Andover School in Montrose Street. This was the ‘shoppie’ where she had spent her penny as a child. Her friend, Mrs Steven (now deceased) but whose son still keeps in touch, bought the sweetie shop for her and she spent 10 very happy years there retiring when the building was demolished to make way for housing.
Neither Meg nor her family can remember when she retired, only that she was approximately in her 60s.
Meg is very close to her niece Joyce, and her husband Malcolm who live at Mill of Pert, and their family, Nicola who lives in Morningside, and Rod who is in Tyne and Wear. Meg has many close friends who visit her at St Drostans House.
Meg became a permanent resident at St Drostans House on December 28, 2009.
She has enjoyed helping others and used to visit St Drostans weekly to distribute sweets to the residents and staff. She also collected £6,200 in small change which she donated to Children’s Hospice Association Scotland.
Meg is very keen on sport of all kinds, now watching events on television though she also participated in her younger days at the YWCA. She is a fervent football supporter and keenly follows Brechin City and Manchester United. She enjoys playing scrabble.
As a child Meg recalls St Drostans House as a Poor House and used to walk up to see the Monkey Puzzle Tree which was very rare at the time. She has an excellent memory and knowledge of Brechin and is often visited by people who are looking for history of the city and its inhabitants.
Last year she was visited by tourists from New Zealand, and she was able to point them in the direction of their relatives.
On the day of her 100th birthday, Meg was presented with a telemessage from Her Majesty the Queen, much to her delight. Mrs Georgiana Osborne, Lord Lieutenant for Angus, was in attendance, along with Provost Helen Oswald, Councillors Glennis Middleton, Jim Houtson, Mairi Evans and Nigel Don MSP. Meg was presented with gifts from the Lord Lieutenant along with gifts from Angus Council.