WHAT do you get a well-travelled Helensburgh resident, who has been involved with the local flower club since it was established in 1957, for her 100th birthday? Well, flowers, of course. And lots of them.

Helensburgh Flower Club’s oldest member Margaret Kergan celebrated her century on November 6 and was treated to a surprise presentation at the Victoria Halls last week by friends, family and fellow flower enthusiasts.

Margaret, who still lives independently at home near Helensburgh Upper station, was joined by daughter Alison Hardie as she received a beautiful bouquet and a delicious looking cake from flower club chairman Marilyn Bevan at the special edition of the regular monthly meeting.

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Alison told the Advertiser her mum made the most of her big day and has enjoyed several parties to mark the occasion, although she is now looking forward to some well-earned downtime.

“She received her telegram from the Queen which was really lovely,” Alison said, “and we had a party for friends and family and relations from hither and thither.

“She’s had lots of visitors and family coming to see her, as well as lots of parcels and presents.

“It is quite difficult to find a present for a 100-year-old lady but she’s had lots of flowers, food hampers, a nice scarf, chocolates; she’s been very spoiled.

“We don’t have much else planned now apart from maybe going up to see my sister who lives in Montrose, and then a few days’ rest, as we’re building up to Christmas.”

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Married for more than 70 years, Margaret met her husband James following the end of the Second World War after being introduced by her cousin.

She worked as a nurse during the war before moving to the Middle East for James’ job in accounting after he had served with the army.

Margaret spent time living in Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait and London and has been in Helensburgh for around 60 years.

Daughters Alison and Hazel went to boarding school at the former St Bride’s School – now Lomond School – and Margaret has three granddaughters and a grandson.

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Alison said: “My mum has been a member of the flower club since it started. Flowers have always been her passion, and gardening and flower arranging; she’s won a lot of prizes here at the flower club and at the horticultural show and flower show and elsewhere over the years.

“She loves flower arranging. She’s always loved it here and it’s been one of her favourite hobbies.”

As for the secret to a long-lasting life, Margaret had some worthy words of advice.

“Good company and making the most of every day,” she said.

“I’ve always been very active, enjoyed gardening and had lots of friends wherever I’ve been.”

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