Pat Knight celebrated her 100th birthday last month with a party put together by St Vincent House, the residential care home in Southsea where she lives.
Family and friends joined the birthday girl, real name Violet, along with a special guest – the Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth David Fuller, who toasted the centenarian.
Pat was born in Portsmouth on April 15, 1916 and remained living in the city, where she met husband Leonard Knight. They married in 1939 at St James’s Church, Milton.
The couple had three sons, David, 77, John 74 and Paul, 65, and were together until Leonard died in 2007.
Pat has five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Before becoming a mother, Pat, who had three siblings, used to work for Woolworths.
She then went on to become a waitress and afterwards worked as a civil servant in the dockyard.
Pat’s son Paul says: ‘Mum and dad used to like touring around Europe in a car. They were quite adventurous.
‘She also used to love socialising and having BBQs, where everyone came round to her house.
‘Another thing she liked to do was spend time out in the garden. She was always out there, she loved it.’
Being the family woman she was, Pat also used to have everyone around at Christmas, but not without a kerfuffle or two.
David, Pat’s eldest son, recalls a funny family memory: ‘One Christmas, mum was cooking and took the greaseproof paper off the chicken and chucked it on the fire.
‘The chimney was set alight and mum was in a right flap. You can imagine the scene. That was funny for all of us.’
There were more giggles as on Pat and Leonard’s 25th wedding anniversary, Leonard hired an Austin 7 instead of the limousine which was promised.
‘Mum was standing outside the house with a big feathered hat on, and what did we have? An Austin 7, the smallest car you could get,’ chuckles David.
‘But she was and still is a very warm person, it was always mum’s house that people came to visit.
‘I also loved her bread and butter pudding and her steak and kidney pudding.’