A former air traffic controller and long-standing lay preacher has celebrated his 100th birthday at the Dorset care home where he has lived for the past five years.
Residents and staff there joined friends and family, including Desmond’s son Jonathan and daughter-in-law Marianne, for a party with champagne, homemade birthday cake and greeting card from the Queen. Gifts were sent from Desmond’s daughter Hilary who lives in the United States.
The son of an ordained minister and brought up in Birmingham, Desmond retired to Ferndown in the 1970s. He had initially worked in sales for a wholesale grocery business before his wartime RAF service led to a career in civilian air traffic control. He worked at various airports and flight control centres including Gatwick, Swanwick, Northolt and West Drayton.
Desmond and his wife Ella celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary shortly before she died and he moved into Brook View.
He praised all at the home, saying: “The staff are excellent and I have made lots of new friends, something I never thought I would do. I think about all the carers and the whole staff as friends rather than people who work for me.”
Asked for his secret of longevity, Desmond said: “Live a normal life and work hard. You might have stress at times but try to recognise that each stage of your life has its attractions. I’ve always tried to live a Christian life and I’ve enjoyed it. I can’t believe I am 100!”
Among the staff helping Desmond celebrate were Activities Organiser Christine Dunscombe and former Brook View nurse Helga Staines, now Head of Care at Colten Care’s Woodpeckers home in Brockenhurst, Hampshire.
Christine said: “Desmond is popular with everyone at Brook View. We all appreciate his readings from scripture at our services and it was a joy and privilege to help him celebrate his 100th birthday.”
Photo caption –
AMONG FRIENDS. Desmond Whiting celebrates his 100th birthday at Brook View care home in West Moors. With him are Colten Care team members Helga Staines, left, and Christine Dunscombe.
With more than 30 years’ experience, Colten Care is an award-winning family-owned care home company based in Lymington, Hampshire. It has 20 quality care homes covering Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex and offers a range of services spanning residential, nursing and dementia care. Colten Care is determined to set the highest standards in all aspects of care of the older person. Colten Care is also committed to raising money for charitable causes. In 2015, Colten Care residents and team members raised nearly £32,000 for charity.
Media enquiries on this news release to Scott Sinclair, Deep South Media, on 01202 534487.