POPULAR Peel resident Iris King is celebrating her 93rd birthday today (Thursday).
With her birthday actually falling on February 29 – which falls only once every four years – she is marking the occasion a day early.
The chance of being born on a leap day is only one in 1,461. In fact, Iris, of Ballaquane Road, has only been able to celebrate her birthday on the right day 24 times.
Maybe it accounts for her boundless enthusiasm and dedication to charity work.
Iris has worked on the ManxSPCA reception at Ard Jerkyll at weekends for the past 13 years.
Only being hospitalised has stopped her doing the much-loved role.
‘My brain is very active and I’m fully compos mentis,’ she said.
‘I’ve been on the reception desk for 13 years so I know a lot of people that come in. It’s lovely meeting them and they become friends.’
A cat lover, Iris lives with her tabby Tiggy, the third she has rehomed from the charity. She said Tiggy was ‘the most wonderful cat’.
Iris’s charity work extends to a number of other charities. She also supports the RNLI, and Help for Heroes, which helps those who have been wounded in Britain’s current conflicts.
She said: ‘I get myself involved in all sorts of things in the island. I always like to help if I can.’
She is celebrating by having friends round for tea and then a dinner party with family in the evening. But she admitted she might not be able to blow out all the candles on any cake she gets.
The former stockbroker moved to the island with her husband Leonard 35 years ago. She has two children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.