Celebrations to mark century

Angus  Mackenzie celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends in a Boness care home
Angus Mackenzie celebrated his 100th birthday with family and friends in a Boness care home

A retired police officer put the secret behind his longevity down to a “wee dram” every night.

Angus Mackenzie celebrated his 100th birthday last Friday with his family at Bo’ness Care Home where he now lives.

Born and brought up in Ross-shire, Highlands, Angus saw the hardship his father went through farming potatoes so he followed in the footsteps of his brother Tom and joined the police in 1939.

He said: “The 1930s was a period of poverty. My father had his croft and he planted potatoes but he did not have much money.”

Shortly after joining the police a wartime romance blossomed and he met the love of his life Agnus Gibb known as Nancy when he was stationed in Mid Calder.

Nancy lived in East Calder and their paths would cross frequently when working in Air Raid Precautions (ARP). Angus said: “I used to walk her home and it went from there.”

He married Nancy at St Oswald’s Church in Edinburgh on May 24, 1944. They were married for 72 years. Sadly, she died in March last year aged 95. They have three children Joan, Kenneth and Ian, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Angus joined the airforce and was sent out to Canada in January 1945 to train as a pilot, coming first in his class to fly solo.

After the war a return to the police beckoned where he remained for 30 years before retiring on May 15, 1969.

He and Nancy moved to Braehead in Bo’ness and was an active bowler for Bo’ness Bowling Club and the retired police bowlers for 40 years.

He was a keen gardener and kept active until he fell and broke his neck in 2010 but has fully recovered.

Looking back, Angus said: “I was very pleased to get into the police and thrilled the day I was able to fly solo - I was first in my class to do so. I’ve been happily married and love the family.”

Asked the secret behind his longevity, he said: “I’ve kept active, loved my gardening and bowls and a wee dram every night”