Lifelong literature lover celebrates 100th birthday at Bield
A World War Two nurse with a passion for poetry has celebrated turning 100 at a Dunfermline retirement housing development.
Mary Wright McKean, now a tenant at Bield’s Gillie Court, was born in Edinburgh where she worked as a librarian, civil servant and as a nurse during the war.
Her time as a nurse is full of historical memories. Working at Bangour Hospital, in West Lothian, Mary aided in the innovative early work of reconstructive plastic surgery.
Each night Mary, a loyal Hearts FC fan, would travel back to her home in Slateford within the earshot of the cheers of Tynecastle and one evening grabbed a memorable lift with General Charles De Gaulle back into Edinburgh during the Blackout.
When asked her secret to longevity Mary cheekily answered: “If we all knew that we would all live to over 100!
“But I definitely think everyone could do with worrying a little less.”
Notably, Mary spent time during the war working as a nurse in a military hospital in Drymen - where she would serve meals to imprisoned war criminal, Rudolf Hess.
From her time working as a librarian to now, Mary has always enjoyed poetry and literature. This lifelong love was celebrated when during her 50s she joined the Open University and achieved a BA in Classics.
Mary celebrated her action-packed life so far with two parties at Gillie Court, with friends, family and fellow tenants all in attendance.
Brenda Robertson, manager at Gillie Court, said: “Everyone at the development loves Mary and we’d like to say a big congratulations!
“We really enjoyed having both parties here ensuring everyone could wish the centenarian a happy birthday.”