THIS WEEK IN 1999: Last gift of blood as loyal donor ‘retires’

Birthday toast for Violet Rowland as she prepared to give blood for the last time
Birthday toast for Violet Rowland as she prepared to give blood for the last time
Commercial Road, Portsmouth at Mile End. 
Picture: Barry Cox collection PPP-171221-141204001

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Violet Rowlans was due to celebrate a very special retirement as she gave blood for the final time.

The Portsmouth pensioner had given blood more times than she had celebrated birthdays, but she would have to stop donating after her visit to the mobile van in Commercial Road, because she was going to be 70 in a few weeks – the cut off point for donors.

Violet, of Berney Road, Eastney, started giving blood in the late 1940s and had received bronze, silver, gold and crystal awards for her contributions over the years.

Her two children also gave blood regularly.

She said: ‘It’s worthwhile, it doesn’t cost anything and you hope that you are helping somebody, somewhere.’