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Centenarian Born On Leap Day Celebrates Her '25th Birthday' With Big Surprise Party

Centenarian Born On Leap Day Celebrates Her '25th Birthday' With Big Surprise Party

Doris Cleife, who was born on 29 February 1920, credits her long life to eating well - being a huge fan of biscuits

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman

A centenarian born on a leap day has just celebrated her birthday with a massive surprise party - having technically just turned 25.

Doris Cleife, who was born on 29 February 1920, was brought to tears as family and friends came together to help her celebrate the milestone, with more than 30 residents from her assisted living apartment block throwing a house party to rival those other 25-year-olds tend to have.

Solent/Habibur Rahman

Doris, from Portsmouth, told The Portsmouth News: "I am gobsmacked. I really am surprised and grateful."

She added: "I didn't know I was so popular."

Solent/Habibur Rahman

Amazingly, the 100-year-old great great grandmother still lives fairly independently, having recently moved into her new home at Brunel Court, an assisted living complex from extra care provider Housing 21.

After her husband Sam died in 1979, Doris had been living with her daughter and son-in-law in Portsmouth for more than 40 years, but sadly her daughter passed away in May last year.

As the first resident to turn 100 while living at Brunel Court, Doris' neighbours, Housing 21 staff and family all helped her celebrate in style on 28 February, putting on an afternoon tea spread and surprising her with massive cake and balloons.

Solent/Habibur Rahman

Speaking ahead of the big do, Doris granddaughter, Rachel, said: "We are so proud of Nan and she is thrilled to be celebrating such a significant milestone with her friends and family.

"Last year was very hard but we want to celebrate this amazing day and an amazing woman. She has been pulling our legs for months now saying she can't wait until her 25th birthday.


"Nan puts her long life down to living with my mum for so long and being surrounded by grandchildren, great grandchildren and now great-great grandchildren! She loves playing with the kids - they keep her young at heart - and only recently she's built amazing shops out of cardboard boxes with the little ones.

"I would say it's also down to good genes - my great auntie Edna, Doris' sister, is 98 in April! Edna is also living in a Housing 21 Extra Care scheme so it will be great to see what tricks they will have up their sleeves when she celebrates her centenary in the coming years."

Solent/Habibur Rahman

Katrina Morgan, Housing Manager at Brunel Court, added: "Doris has settled in so well and we are delighted that we are able to share such a special moment with her and her friends here.

"We know that family means so much to Doris - she has two grandchildren, Rachel and David, three great grandchildren Kirsty, Sammy and Isla and two great-great grandchildren Tilly and Thea.

"The family will all be celebrating with her at a private party on her actual birthday on Saturday but the residents here wanted to throw a surprise tea party as well."

As for the secret to such a long life? According to the BBC, Doris simply credits eating well - with her favourite food being biscuits and pâté .

Good on ya, Doris. Happy birthday!

Featured Image Credit: Solent/Habibur Rahman

Topics: uk news, News, Daily Ladness, Community