Wally celebrates his 100th birthday

PUBLISHED: 11:28 11 April 2013 | UPDATED: 11:28 11 April 2013

Wally Matthews celebrating his 100th birthday at Exmouth Age Concern day centre. Picture by Alex walton. Ref exe 8302-14-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Wally Matthews celebrating his 100th birthday at Exmouth Age Concern day centre. Picture by Alex walton. Ref exe 8302-14-13AW. To order your copy of this photograph, go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Archant

An Exmouth man has celebrated his 100th birthday – and says the key to his longevity is enjoying life.

Wally Matthews was born in Shepherds Bush, London, and grew up in Twickenham.

Having left school, he took up an apprenticeship at a false leg manufacturer, but on the outbreak of World War Two joined the RAF as an engineer.

Just before he left for the air force, he married Connie, and they were wed for 64 years.

After the war, Wally took on a number of engineering jobs, before a career as publican took the couple west – first to Middlesex, then Crewkerne in Somerset, then to Starcross.

Wally then worked as a salesman before retirement, and the couple moved to Exmouth nearly 30 years ago, with Connie dying years later, shortly before what would have been their 65th anniversary.

Despite his advancing years, Wally still keeps himself active, and is a regular visitor to Age Concern Exmouth where a party was held for him last Thursday.

Wally has a son, Desmond, along with two granddaughters, Tina and Shelly, and two great-grandsons, Lee and Ryan.

And as a family treat, last weekend Wally was taken to the restaurant at Kings Garden Centre, where he thought he would only be joined by Desmond, but in fact was surprised by family members from across the country.

When asked for the secret to his long life, Wally said: “Meeting people and having fun,” and added: “I’ve enjoyed my life – so should everybody.”

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