Olivia's celebrating 105 years

PUBLISHED: 13:41 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 14:42 12 May 2010

Olivia Bestic with staff at Margaret House Residential Home

Olivia Bestic with staff at Margaret House Residential Home

A WOMAN believed to be one of the oldest in the country will be 105-years-old tomorrow (Friday). Olivia Bestic, of Margaret House Residential Home, Barley, says she has always been active - which is the secret to such a long and healthy life. I have alw

A WOMAN believed to be one of the oldest in the country will be 105-years-old tomorrow (Friday).

Olivia Bestic, of Margaret House Residential Home, Barley, says she has always been active - which is the secret to such a long and healthy life.

"I have always had an active life in the country. The country is where I like to be," she said.

"I don't like the age of 105. But the years go on and on and we just have to go along with it."

Olivia's daughter, Moira Robertson, 72, who lives in Saffron Walden, said: "She's a gentle, tolerant, loving and uncritical person.

"Considering she's had a tough life, she's always been a very brave lady."

Olivia was married for 16 years, but was widowed at 43-years-old after her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

However, Olivia, who was one of five children, said she had a happy life.

After marrying her husband she moved to Ceylon where her husband worked as a tea and rubber planter.

She said: "We had such a lovely life and I learnt to drive in Ceylon."

It was in Ceylon where Olivia gave birth to one daughter and two sons.

But in 1939 they had to leave because of the start of the Second World War to return to England and moved to Newton Abbot in Devon.

It was when they returned that her husband was diagnosed with cancer.

"My mum had to cope by herself but she was always there for us. She never did anything spectacular, she just quietly got on with life." said Moira.

Olivia moved to Margaret House in 1983 following an eye operation.

She said: "I have been happy here. The time has gone by quickly, but I never thought it would come to this."

Margaret Guzman, home manager, said: "During the nine years that I have been here Olivia has been absolutely fine. She doesn't need any pills and she writes to me every week to thank me for everything."

Suzie Strange, senior care assistant, said: "She has lived through so many things others would never experience which is amazing."

Moira has five grandchildren and five great grandchildren. With regards to her age she has followed in the footsteps of her mother and father who lived to 96 and 94-years-old.

Tomorrow, Olivia is being given a celebratory lunch at Margaret House.

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