Auchmithie centenarian celebrates

Jean with her family on her 100th birthday.
Jean with her family on her 100th birthday.

A LADY who is possibly the oldest surviving person to have been born in Auchmithie, Mrs Jean McKenzie, nee Smith, celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday with a family get together at Seaton Grove Care Centre, Seaton Road, Arbroath.

The party was also attended by Lady Fraser of Carmyllie, Deputy Lieutenant for Angus, and Angus Provost Helen Oswald.

Mrs McKenzie was born in the village on June 9, 1912, one of a family of 10 of Dan and Eliza Smith.

She attended Auchmithie School then started working with fish. She travelled as far as Glasgow by train to sell her produce and after a hard day then had to walk home from Arbroath railway station to Auchmithie.

In the 1930s she met Donald McKenzie, a farm labourer at Seaton of Auchmithie, and the couple were married in Auchmithie Church on March 7, 1937.

They moved into Arbroath and lived at 7 High Street where Mrs McKenzie continued to work with fish. They had three children, Eliza, Donald and Danny, all of whom are deceased. Another move followed, to Millgate Loan, where Jean took in boarders and also worked as a cleaner. Later she got a job as a housekeeper at the Dale School, Brechin Road, where she worked for over 10 years until her retirement.

However, leaving work did not mean doing nothing as she was always ready to lend a hand for family, friends and neighbours by undertaking baby-sitting and similar chores.

Mr McKenzie, who died 10 years ago, was a member of Lodge St Thomas No. 40 and Jean was always on hand to help out at functions and behind the bar of a Saturday evening. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star Rosemary Chapter No. 44.

She ran the Fit o’ the toon Whist Club every Wednesday evening and latterly was a member of the Friendship Club. Her main treats were attending bingo sessions and holidays abroad, particularly in Benidorm.

She is the oldest member of St Andrew’s Church and formerly delivered church magazines at the Fit o’ the toon.

There are seven grandchildren - Kay, Kenny, Duncan, Ian, Eric, Stuart and Alison, 11 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-granchildren.