FAMILY is what life is all about for centenarian Minnie Simmons – and she has plenty to go around.
Minnie, who turned 100 on July 17, celebrated with a day-long open-door party at her home in Burton on Saturday – and almost the entire family came along.
The house, where she still lives independently, was filled with flowers and cards, including one from the Queen, and buzzing with activity.
With two children and 21 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, including youngest seven-month-old Finley – and two more on the way – there were a lot of visitors.
She told the Daily Echo: “I wouldn’t be without them – they are very kind to me, they look after me.
“Having a family around you keeps you going. While I’ve got them around me I’m happy.”
Minnie, originally from Norwich, moved to Poole with her husband Arthur, a motor mechanic, in 1961. He passed away in 1987.
The couple, who married in 1935, had two children, Pat and Derek. Minnie also lived in Parkstone and Ferndown before settling in Burton. The majority of her family live nearby in Dorset.
Despite her years Minnie still keeps active with walks to the local shops and enjoys getting out and about with her daughter Pat. “I don’t stay in very often,” she said. “If I can get out I will.”
And she stays sharp by doing the crossword and codeword puzzles: “It definitely helps keep my brain going.
“I don’t feel 100,” she added. “No, definitely not.”
Minnie’s daughter Pat Walsh said of her mum: “She does all of her own washing and ironing and takes care of herself.
“It’s remarkable really. Everybody thinks she’s fantastic.
“You wouldn’t know she was 100 to look at her – she doesn’t act 100.
“She’s always laughing and joking and that’s what everybody loves about her.
“She’s an amazing lady and everybody loves her and enjoys being in her company.”