Melrose celebrates with Kathleen as she turns 100

Melrosian-elect Ben Magowan visits Kathleen Dun with his right and left-hand men.
Melrosian-elect Ben Magowan visits Kathleen Dun with his right and left-hand men.
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A former matron and charity champion has celebrated her 100th birthday with friends, family and visitors at her home in Melrose.

Kathleen Dun, awarded a British Empire Medal for services to the community in the 1980s, is now believed to be the oldest person born and still living in Melrose.

Miss Dun's 100th birthday celebrations in Melrose.

Miss Dun's 100th birthday celebrations in Melrose.

Born at the family home, Fairview, on May, 4, 1919, Miss Dun spent most of her working as a matron at Clifton Hall in Edinburgh, apart from during the Second World War, when she joined the Land Army and worked at the Dun family farm at Gilston.

She returned to Melrose to care for her father John and mother Katherine and has remained in the town since, moving to Ormiston Terrace and immersing herself fully in the community through its parish church, rugby club, women’s rural institute, annual festival and tennis club.

Kathleen travelled all over the world from Africa to Alaska, often by herself, until she was well into her 80s.

Kathleen’s brother, Jack, 93, said beforehand: “She has lived on her own for a long time and is very independent.

Melrose RFC president Douglas Hardie and Sevens secretary Gordon Chisholm with Kathleen Dun.

Melrose RFC president Douglas Hardie and Sevens secretary Gordon Chisholm with Kathleen Dun.

“She is quite excited for the celebrations, which is not like her, but there’s a lot of people going to be visiting over the course of her birthday so she’s looking forward to that.”

The unmarried centenarian has two surviving nephews – John, now living in France, and Alistair, of Jedburgh.

On Saturday, she received a card from the Queen and visits from Melrosian Ben Magowan and representatives of the town’s community council and rugby club.

Her celebrations continue this weekend with a lunch party at Burt’s Hotel in Melrose.

Jack’s wife Susan added: “Kathleen used to volunteer with the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service.

“She used to deliver meals on wheels and do driving. We laughed at the time because she got her BEM for services to old people, and even back then she was older than most of the people she was helping.”

Her cousin Ronald Ireland, from Midlothian, added: “She is in extremely good health for someone who is 100.

“She is amazing and mentally is sharp as a tack.”