SURROUNDED by friends singing happy birthday and wishing her well, Doris Hern looks happy and content.
And she has every reason to be as yesterday she was celebrating her 106th birthday at Thalassa Nursing Home, in Western Way, Gosport.
Doris has been at the home for nearly six years.
She no longer has any family left but many friends turned out to wish her well.
Close friend Trish Kelly, of Tebourba Drive, Alverstoke, said: ‘I can’t believe that we’re here celebrating another birthday for this remarkable lady.
‘Words fail to describe how she keeps on going with such a sense of humour. She’s a wonderful, wonderful lady.’
Doris was born in Stamshaw, Portsmouth, in 1908, before she and her family moved to Waterlooville.
She started a nursing career in Hayling Island after training in Padstow. She was later a district nurse.
Doris said: ‘It’s great fun. It’s a lovely and happy occasion.
‘I don’t want the presents as much as I want the company to come and see me.’
She was married to Gosport councillor John Hern for 51 years before he died in 1988.
Doris has up until recently been active in the League of Friends for Gosport War Memorial Hospital.
Claire Lines, from the group, said: ‘Doris is still a member of our committee.
‘Sometimes, until recently, we could rely on her memory for a lot of things we wanted to consider. It’s a bit more difficult for her to get to us now.
‘We will miss her very badly if she stops contributing – we don’t consult our records, we consult Doris.’
As reported, last year Doris planted a cherry tree on her birthday at the home.
Former mayor, freeman and honorary alderman Graham Hewitt was among those visiting Doris.
He said: ‘Doris is an absolute example to us. I remember nearly 50 years ago when I was a Labour councillor and her husband was a Conservative councillor – they were the most charming couple.’