THE secret to a long and happy life is plenty of hard work and a good dance, according to Milford Haven’s latest centenarian Ivy Thomas.
Celebrating her birthday with four generations of her family on Tuesday (March 25), Mrs Thomas was visited by Milford Haven Mayor Cllr Yvonne Southwell, who congratulated her on ‘looking great’ at 100.
Describing herself as “very independent”, Mrs Thomas has never let age stand in her way.
From ballroom dancing until she was 87, to visiting the fjords of Norway aged 92, and flying in a helicopter aged 98, this great great grandmother says she has “lived a very full life”.
On top of working, over the years she has enjoyed many hobbies, from knitting and baking to decoupage and embroidery, and still gets her hands dirty tending to the shrubs and borders in her garden.
“I’ve lived an interesting life on the whole, and tried a bit of everything,” she said.
One of seven children, she was born in Clunderwen, where she became the village's first Carnival Queen.
Her clearest memory from her childhood is of her father coming home on leave from the Army, and always bringing biscuits home for the children.
“It’s funny what sticks in your memory,” she said.
After having three children - Huw, Diane and Roy – Mrs Thomas her husband, Fred, moved to Whitland, where they opened a second barbershop.
She moved to Milford Haven after Fred's death in 1965, to be nearer children and grandchildren.