Heathfield man celebrates 100th birthday

RELATIVES travelled around 6,000 miles to join in the 100th birthday celebrations of a Heathfield man.

Albert Honeyman, who celebrated his special birthday on Wednesday, September 14, marked the occasion by inviting around 45 family, friends and neighbours to a party at The Legacy Boship Farm Hotel near Hailsham three days later. Albert’s niece Sylvia McCallum, her daughter Donna, Sylvia’s niece Colleen together with other close friends, travelled from Cape Town in South Africa to be there.

Albert said: “I have visited South Africa many times which is a fantastic country so it was lovely that Sylvia, Donna and Colleen were able to come over to England enabling me to be surrounded by everyone I care about. He moved to Heathfield in 1972 with his wife, Eileen, who died 24 years ago. He explained: “This town has been my home for a long time and I have made many friends here through playing bowls and my love of gardening. It is a milestone to reach 100 - I believe in everything in moderation, regular exercise, eating well as well as having a keen interest in everything around me.” At a very young age, London-born Albert looked after Shire horses in Bermondsey for the London County Council. 

He left school at 14, started as a messanger boy in London’s Hatton Garden and then worked in the West End making upmarket handbags.

Determined to improve his education he attended night school was appointed manager of a filing systems company, finishing his career in administration in the Post Office.

During World War II, Albert was in the RAF and spent several months in the desert. 

Sylvia added: “I organised most of the party via emails and telephone calls from Cape Town before coming over to the UK about a month ago. 

“I’m so incredibly proud of my Uncle Albert for his strength of character, his interest in everything around him and his ability to have looked after himself for the past 24 years. 

“It was a great party with friends and family enjoying their trip down memory lane. I especially chose the Boship Farm Hotel for the celebration as it was held in the very same room as Albert and Eileen’s 50th wedding anniversary 26 years ago.”