Local News

Professional dancer “waltzes” Andover care home resident Mary into her 102nd birthday

An Andover care home resident’s wish came true this weekend when she had the chance to dance the Waltz at her 102nd birthday party. 

Mary Duncan, who was 102 on Saturday 28th May, celebrated her milestone birthday at Millway House care home in Andover last weekend, where staff had arranged for a professional dancer to walk her through her favourite ballroom dance. 

Mary, who’s recipe for living a long life includes exercise and fresh air, learned to dance at the age of seven, and couldn’t wait to be “whisked” around the care home with, now retired, ballroom dancer, Dave Turner. 

Mary said: “I’ve always been active and have loved dancing from an early age. Dancing the Waltz with Dave today was a dream come true and the staff here have made a 102-year-old woman very happy.” 

Dave Turner danced competitively in Ballroom and Latin American dance for nearly 10 years. He reached the finals in the major UK European and World Championships with his partner, and at one stage even held a world record. Donning his best outfit, Dave spent the whole morning dancing with Mary, while the rest of Millway’s residents looked on appreciatively. 

And, with the birthday girl requesting a blue theme for her party, staff and residents wore something in Mary’s chosen colour and celebrated her special day with tea and birthday cake. 

Claire Lousteau, Home Manager at Millway House, said: “Mary is fabulous. She is extremely popular with everyone here and is still in excellent health. She really was in her element on Saturday, which was wonderful to see. 

“Thanks go to Dave and to all the staff here who organised such a special day for Mary.” 

Millway House is part of Sears Healthcare and CEO Richard Adams is pleased to hear that Mary has had the chance to celebrate another milestone birthday in style. 

He said: “I’m so happy that Mary’s waltzing wish came true for her 102nd birthday. 

“At Millway House, we are a nurse-led care home, so our approach focuses on providing a home-from-home for our residents while we meet their healthcare needs. I’m thrilled to hear that Mary enjoyed her special day.” 

Mary was born in Benoni in the Johannesburg region of South Africa in 1920 and came to the UK as a youngster to go to school. She served as an officer in the Woman’s Air Force during the Second World War, and married David Duncan in 1943. David serviced as an officer in the Royal Marines. 

After the war, Mary was a proud housewife, raising a family and supporting her husband in his job while they travelled the world. Mother to two children – who are now both in their 70s, Mary now has seven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. 

Situated on the outskirts of Weyhill near Andover, Millway House offers excellent accommodation for nursing, dementia and end of life care. 

For more information, visit www.millwayhouse.co.uk.