A contented outlook on life and an iPad whizz at age 100

Dorothy Pearce Skyping on her laptop

Dorothy Pearce as a one-year-old photographed with her mother Bessie and brother Henry, two, in 1915

Dorothy Pearce snapped on holiday in the 1960s

First published in News

IT isn’t Dorothy Pearce’s age that holds her back from using her iPad. It is a dodgy internet connection.

Ms Pearce celebrates her 100th birthday today and such technological frustrations are a far cry from 1914, when telegrams and letters were the modern forms of communication.

A century later, and after first using a computer aged 96, Dorothy emails her family, talks over Skype with her niece and is an avid fan of the online games Candy Crush and dominoes on her new iPad.

She also uses her laptop to read the Oxford Mail and check her Facebook page.

Spinster Ms Pearce, of Stowford Road, Barton, will celebrate her special birthday with her loved ones in person, including niece Shirley Elias.

She said: “I talk to Shirley a lot. She does a lot for me. She has two children and now they have both had two children. They are all coming up on Saturday.”

The computer whizz, who is Age UK Oxfordshire’s oldest silver surfer, visits a computer group each Monday.

Ms Pearce said: “I am the oldest one in the group. I have learnt as much as I can for now, but you can always learn more.

“I started at a class here but I was the only one who carried it on.

“I like doing all this a lot. I like playing games on the iPad as well.

“I have been taking pictures of my niece on there.

“It’s easy to learn, but the teacher, Ahmed, has a lot of patience.”

The 100-year-old was born in Plymouth, but spent her teenage years in Wales before moving to London in 1938.

She vividly remembers the Blitz and having to climb over rubble with the sisters in the convent where she was living.

The centenarian moved to Oxford in the mid-1940s, and spent many years caring for elderly people as a housekeeper companion.

She now lives in sheltered housing in Stowford Road and, although she doesn’t have any children of her own, she is close to her nieces, nephews and their children and grandchildren.

In all, 17 of them are visiting for one of two celebrations today.

The annual Barton Bash at the Neighbourhood Centre has been moved forward this year to coincide with her birthday and she will be cutting the ribbon to welcome her friends to the event.

Members of her computer group also have something up their sleeve for Monday.

When asked what her secret to a long life was she said: “Contentment. That’s my secret. I get on with people. There can sometimes be a fly in the ointment but just be happy.

“Keep active and don’t let the aches and pains get in the way.”

FATEFUL DAY IN HISTORY

ON June 28 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated, sparking off the First World War.

He was heir-presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne and was killed, along with his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenburg, in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip.

Austria-Hungaria issued an ultimatum against Serbia, which was then rejected, leading to the declaration of war.

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