Ina Carruthers, who celebrated her birthday at Bupa’s Ailsa Craig Care Home, says she attributes her good health to a diet consisting of wheat-bran cereal, toast, biscuits – and most surprisingly, the more than occasional glass of gin with orange juice.
Born in 1910 in Glasgow, the ground-breaking great-grandmother of five worked in a factory during World War Two as a machinist and later as an engineer – before raising three children.
Ina married husband William, at the London Road Church in Bridgeton with the reception held at a nearby tea room.
The service was carried out by Reverend Jackson who also christened Ina’s three children Sarah who sadly passed away at age 8 from appendicitis; Ian who is 70; and Maureen, 65.
Ina explained how her wartime job also saw her challenge the male-female wage divide at the time, receiving a pay which was almost three times as much as the average worker.
She said: “I got very lucky with the job I had during the war – I started off as a machinist then worked my way up to become an engineer.
“Most workers would be paid £3 per week but my salary was almost £9, which meant I could treat myself more often.
“One time I even splashed out and bought a brand new fur coat.”
Ina also highlights her secrets for longevity, saying: “It definitely takes hard-work to a live a long life and you most certainly have to put the effort in.
“I certainly worked hard during the war – and while I raised my children.
“I also think it’s important to treat yourself with the things that you enjoy – and in my case, gin with orange juice is one of my favourite indulgences.
“I used to go dancing every Monday at a local club in Cessnock – and I would be sure to order it from the bar.”
Ina shared her milestone birthday on St Andrew’s Day – where the care home team held a double celebration.
Sheila Margey, Manager at Ailsa Craig Care Home, said: “Everyone was delighted to help Ina celebrate the big day.
She added: “Ina always has fantastic stories to tell and is such a pleasure to be around, she’s popular with everyone who lives and works here.
“Residents and staff had a fantastic time helping Ina to celebrate with drinks, refreshments and party food – alongside traditional Scottish cuisine for St. Andrew’s day.
“Turning 104 is such an incredible accomplishment and we’re all so proud of Ina.”