A happy 100th for Waterlooville birthday girl Yvonne

While tucking into a home-made slice of her beautiful 100th birthday cake, Yvonne Speet smiles as she reminisces the past century.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 9:40 am
Yvonne Speet with her daughter, Scilla, as she celebrated her 100th birthday at Wellington Vale Care Home in Denmead on Friday, November 6. Picture: Queen Alexandra Hospital

Born on December 6, 1919, in Leiden, Holland, Yvonne grew up with her two older sisters Ena and Jo.

Throughout her childhood, you could always find Yvonne on the ice rink.

Her first and greatest love, she says, was figure skating and she started skating competitively at the age of 13.

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Yvonne Speet as she celebrated her 100th birthday at Wellington Vale Care Home in Denmead on Friday, November 6. Picture: Queen Alexandra Hospital

Yvonne danced her way through several competitions before she met her future husband Louk when they were paired up as skating partners on the evening of her 14th birthday. From then they were unstoppable and won several competitions together.

After her mother died when she was just 15 she moved in with her sister until she married Louk in 1940.

When Louk, who worked as a scientific glass blower, was offered a job at Queen’s University physics department, Belfast, the couple started their new life in Northern Ireland.

The Speets and their three children Mignon, Scilla and Hugo found life in Northern Ireland different but fulfilling, with Yvonne continuing her ballet training which she loved. While Louk was working at the university, Yvonne would attend the Belfast Ballet Club and choreograph for them as well as working as a technical translator for British Enkalon.

Yvonne when she was 17 years old.

In 1982, Yvonne and Louk moved to England to be nearer their children.

They relocated to Portsmouth in 1984. During retirement, the Speets loved to travel together, with Iceland and Norway being just two highlights. They now have two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Louk died in 2009 but Yvonne says they had a ‘rich and full life together’.

Yvonne continued to live independently and attended Open University classes until she 99 .

Yvonne moved to Wellington Vale Care Home, Waterlooville, in March 2019.

To celebrate her great milestone birthday she enjoyed a lunch with her closest friends and family.