Madge on song for 102nd birthday

Margaret Rosie

Margaret Rosie

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Margaret Rosie from Gilmerton celebrated her 102nd birthday in style as friends and family gathered for a party.

She marked the big day by singing songs with visitors at Corstorphine Hospital yesterday.

Originally from Orkney, Margaret remembers the sinking of the Royal Oak and watching the scuttling of the German Fleet in Scapa Flow during the First and Second World Wars.

Margaret Isabella St Clair Rosie, née Keldie, was born in 1911 – the same year as the coronation of King George V, the Suffragettes stormed the Houses of Parliament in London and the ill-fated ocean liner, Titanic, was launched.

Margaret was the youngest of five children to Thomas Keldie and Margaret Simpson, and attended Kirkwall Grammar School.

Her three sisters Lottie, Christina, known as Goodie, and Edith and brother Tommy are all deceased.

Margaret, known as Madge, married Alexander Rosie in 1935, but their life together was tragically cut short as he died in 1942. Together, they had four children.

Madge trained and qualified as a nurse, working initially in Kirkwall’s Balfour Hospital, before moving to the Capital and a new home in Cumnor Crescent in 1953.

She said: “I moved to Edinburgh when I was 21. I did my training at Longmore House on Salisbury Place then I worked in TB and infection diseases, then Craighouse Hospital and the West House.

“Latterly I worked at the British Nursing Association, just off George Street, which cared for private patients.”

She continued in employment until she was 75 years old and remained independent, living in her own home with the help of carers until just last year.

Madge gave a number of reasons for her longevity. She said: “I’ve always kept active – don’t let yourself go, keep your independence, walk, and take plenty of exercise, eat well – plenty of vegetables and home baking – and have good personal cleanliness and keep an even temperament.

“I’m fond of music and singing and these are things that keep you feeling young.”

Madge’s son, Alex, who lives in Newbridge, said his mother remained in “excellent” mental health, although she is now frail and preparing to move to Inch View nursing home.

Alex said: “We had a party at the hospital with family and friends, we all had a great time.

“The staff at Corstorphine Hospital looked after her very well.”

Madge, who said she had enjoyed herself at her celebration, said that she was now looking forward to moving to Inchview Care Home in Gilmerton.

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