THE early summer of 1919 was a momentous time on the global stage in several ways.

The treaty of Versailles officially ended the state of war between Germany and the Allies, seven months after the Armistice; pioneering aviators John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown completed the first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Ireland; and the United States Congress approved suffrage for women.

Closer to home, though, it also saw the birth in Glasgow of Mary Gardiner: and a century on, Mary’s family and friends gathered at Northwood House care home in Helensburgh to celebrate Mary’s hundredth birthday.

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The third – and last-surviving – of four sisters, Mary moved from the city of her birth to live in Helensburgh in 1987, and was joined by her niece Elsa Milton and her nephew John Adam, John’s wife Elaine, and Northwood House staff for the happy occasion.

“It was a lovely day,” Elsa, who travelled from her home in Chesterfield in Derbyshire for the birthday party, told the Advertiser.

“The home’s staff put on a lovely celebration for her – I was really, really pleased with the effort they went to.”

Mary, who never married, lived with her older sister Allie for much of her life, and worked in the civil service: according to Elsa, she also enjoyed visits to Duck Bay while living in Glasgow, which sparked her decision to move to Helensburgh 32 years ago following her retirement.

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She was also an active churchgoer until her age and reduced mobility began to catch up with her.

“Apart from John and myself, Mary is the last surviving member of the family,” Elsa continued.

“She didn’t want a lot of fuss on her birthday – I thought she might be a bit overwhelmed, but she was lapping it up, especially when the photographer arrived!”