A woman from Peel celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday with her family, friends and the Lieutenant Governor Sir John Lorimer.

Audrey Quirk’s landmark birthday party took place at Peel Golf Club on Wednesday afternoon, and was attended by over 70 people, including her three sons, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a variety of nephews and nieces.

Audrey was born on February 14, 1924 in North London where she was raised.

She faced adversity early on in her life when, at the age of 17, her family home was bombed in the blitz. Although she was in the house at the time, she and her parents miraculously escaped a serious injury and had to move to a vacant house whose inhabitants had fled the country for the remainder of the war.

Audrey joined the Land Army when she was 18 and remained in it until soon after the end of the war. She worked on a farm and then an institution for those suffering from mental illness.

She said that for her, the ‘most frightening part of the whole war was being in a field at potato harvest time - when potatoes were the weapon of choice amongst the patients!’

Audrey met her future husband, Harrison Quirk, at Butlin’s Holiday Camp in Pwllheli, Wales. As he was from the Isle of Man, this was the first time she had heard of the island.

The couple moved to Michael Street in Peel and took over a baker’s and grocer’s shop until it was sold in 1972. Audrey’s home-baked apple pies were a ‘popular seller’!

In 1961, Audrey participated very actively in town affairs as Lady Chairman while Harrison was Chairman of Peel Town Commissioners. Later she was invited to become a Justice of the Peace and served in this role for several years.

Audrey, Harrison and their three young sons later moved to Cliffe Cottage on Peel Headlands, fulfilling a ‘life-long dream’ of Harrison’s to live there.

Audrey still lives in the same area in what she describes as a ‘granny flat’. She lives there with her eldest son Anthony and his wife Jill.

Talking about the birthday party, Anthony said: ‘Audrey was delighted that her birthday cake depicted her favourite view: the one she looks at every day from her armchair.

‘Hardly a day goes by without her saying “I count my blessings every day”, words which were quoted on the cake.

‘My brother Peter sang a couple of my mother’s favourite songs, and we were joined by our youngest brother Andrew who came all the way from America.

‘Audrey’s great- granddaughter, Breesha Kelsey, a winner of Guild prizes for singing, also sang her a song.’