A woman from Onchan celebrated her 100th birthday on Friday.

Elizabeth Heath, who is originally from London but has lived in the island for most of her life, celebrated her landmark birthday with friends and family at Douglas Golf Club.

Speaking about how she felt ahead of the milestone, Elizabeth said: ‘I’m defiant! I feel people seem to think because I’m 100, I’m incapable of doing anything, but that’s not true.

‘If you got to know me you would know how determined I am. I currently have to use walking supports but I’m determined not to use them if I can help it.’

Elizabeth was born on September 15, 1923 at Paddington Green Children’s Hospital in London, which was closed down and its services merged with St Mary’s Hospital in the same area in 1987.

Talking about her upbringing, Elizabeth said: ‘Me and my older brother lived in Little Venice [in London] until we were four when our father died.

‘Me and my brother were very close growing up, but we drifted apart and he seemed to disappear. My grandson recently found out that he died in 2017.

‘After living in Little Venice, we moved to a place called North Harrow where we lived with our mother and grandparents. I attended Headstone Council School [now Nower Hill High School] but I couldn’t join until I was six due to the school not being finished!

‘At age seven or eight I remember being the May Queen for my local May Day event, wearing a long white dress which my mother made for me, so that’s a nice memory.’

During World War Two, Elizabeth lived at home with her brother, mother and grandparents. She worked in a Royal Air Force office from 1942 until the end of the war in 1945, but when asked what her role was in the RAF, she said: ‘I think it’s best not to comment.’

When talking about her experience of the war, Elizabeth said it was ‘quite a happy period’ due to the community spirit she felt in London at the time.

Four years after the conclusion of the war, Elizabeth gave birth to twin boys, John and Bruce, in London. The boys were raised in London but regularly visited the Isle of Man on holiday, before Elizabeth decided to move to the island permanently.

Elizabeth commented: ‘We went on three holidays to the island when the boys were kids, and after coming off the boat during the third holiday, I said to my husband that this is where we’re going to live.

‘I remember thinking how beautiful it was and that there was no better place on Earth to live. But I do think the island was more beautiful back then than it is now.’

John is currently a social professor at Tuskegee University in Alabama, but came back to the island in August following the death of his brother Bruce at the age of 74.

Talking about Bruce, Elizabeth said: ‘I haven’t had time to think about my birthday or the party as it’s been quite a bad time recently.

‘One of the last things he said to me was that this party was his present to me, so it is going to be an emotional day.’

Elizabeth worked in the shoe trade in her adult life, and was surprised to see a job opening in the first newspaper she bought after moving to the island.

She said: ‘I couldn’t quite believe it. I had worked in the shoe trade in London and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it on the island, but I bought the Manx Times one day and came across this perfect job advert.

‘A woman called Mary was also joining this company at the same time as me, and coincidentally moved in next door to my new house. We turned out to be the bestest of friends.’

Throughout Elizabeth’s life, she has had two husbands, two children, four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

When asked what her advice would be for other people in life, Elizabeth said: ‘My main thing to take away from life is to not stand for any nonsense!

‘If someone is stroppy with you, and you know they’re out of line, don’t be afraid to answer them back.’