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Great-grandmother says love of curry and whisky helped her reach 103

Margaret Phillips celebrated her birthday with her two daughters last month.

Margaret Phillips who turned 103 on June 22, 2015.

A great-grandmother who lived for years in India has attributed her love of curry and whisky to helping her reach her 103rd birthday.

Margaret Phillips, who lives at Bupa's Balcarres Care Home in Dundee, said keeping fit and active have also helped.

Mrs Phillips gave birth to her first daughter Jacqueline just before the outbreak of the Second World War and moved to India with her first husband William for three years before the family returned to the UK in 1940.

He died just after the end of the war and she remarried and returned to India with her second husband, also named William, in 1946, giving birth to her second daughter, Susan, in Calcutta.

They returned to Britain in 1957.

Her daughters, now 78 and 76, helped celebrate her milestone birthday last month.

Jacqueline Brown said her mother has always loved spending time with her family, which now includes six grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

She said: "She makes a mean curry and was famous within the family for her curry suppers, which she would hold on a regular basis. And she always did enjoy a tot of whisky every night before dinner.

"She has been very crafty all her life and has always loved sewing, knitting and dress-making.

"During the war time, you were only able to purchase odd bits of material but mum would collect these and make them into the most beautiful frocks for my sister and I. She has also knitted a variety of items for her grandchildren - clothing, patchwork duvets, rag-dolls, you name it.

"She absolutely loves family occasions and getting everyone together. I live in Jersey now so we aren't able to get the whole family together very often and she just loves it when we do.

"Attending the weddings of her grandchildren is always a highlight for her. She doesn't stop smiling all day."

Pamela Shaw, activity co-ordinator at Balcarres Care Home, said everyone at the home helped Mrs Phillips celebrate her birthday on June 22.

She said: "Margaret is such a pleasure to be around. She's very lively and is popular with everyone who lives and works here.

"Residents and staff had a fantastic time helping Margaret to celebrate with drinks, refreshments and party food.

"Turning 103 is such an incredible accomplishment and we're all so proud of Margaret."

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