HEALTHY eating, a sense of humour and hard work are all things that 100-year-old Rona Williams attributes to her long and happy life.
Mrs Williams, who has recently moved into St Teresa’s Rest Home, Fishguard celebrated her 100th birthday last Tuesday, December 18.
Family and friends came from as far afield as Australia to celebrate with a special birthday party at The Harp, Letterston, where they enjoyed an excellent lunch and celebratory champagne.
Rona’s two sons, Richard and David and grandson Hugo were with her to celebrate.
One of six siblings Rona was born in Aberdovey and her earliest memories are of adventures with her sisters and brothers on the beach and the Bryn.
At the age of ten she moved to Kilgetty and then Tenby.
“I liked the beach and it was peaceful in winter,” she said of Tenby. “In the summer it was full of tourists. We would walk all the all the way round Tenby of an evening and walk from Tenby to Saundersfoot often.
“I remember Tenby annual show. It was the number one thing of the year, everybody went to the show.”
At the age of 16 Rona moved away from Pembrokeshire and began what turned out to be a long career in nursing.
While working at Llandough Hospital near Cardiff during the Second World War she nursed a handsome young man named Eric who had broken his leg while riding around on his motorbike in the dark and with no lights on.
Their romance continued long distance during the war when Eric was posted to India and they married after peace was declared.
The couple moved to Nigeria where Rona was the first female expatriate given permission to live in northern Nigeria. By this time Rona had moved up the nursing ladder to become a ward sister. While in Nigeria she ran various local clinics as an unpaid volunteer, nursed the expat community and cut the men’s hair.
The family moved back to Cardiff in the early 60s where Rona worked as a ward sister in St David’s Hospital and then ran the Cardiff chest clinic.
In 1980 Rona and Eric retired to Letterston. Rona was a member of Letterston WI, where she won prizes for her embroidery, she was also a member of the local ramblers group, the luncheon club and an upholstery group.
She enjoyed knitting, sewing, making and mending. At St Teresa’s, where she has been resident for three weeks she has already made an impression with her dancing.
When asked the secret of her long and healthy life Rona relied “breathing” but admitted that hard work and eating healthily and a good sense of humour have also helped.
This content was originally published here.