Shropshire Star

Watch 100-year-old May sing in Spanish as she celebrates her birthday at Shrewsbury care home

A multi-lingual retired midwife who has just turned 100 believes her longevity is down to good genes and good luck.

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May McEntee celebrated her big day with friends and family at Mount House & Severn View Care Home in Shrewsbury.

She helped make her own Victoria Sponge birthday cake and received a card from King Charles.

When the Shropshire Star visited her, May, who speaks English, French and Spanish, sang in Spanish and told us about her life.

"I'm half French and half Scottish," she said. "My mum came from Algeria and my dad came from the Orkney islands.

May McEntee celebrated her birthday with a card from the King

"I was born and brought up in Algeria. After the Second World War when we could start travelling, I moved right up to the north of Scotland to Aberdeen where I started doing nursing. Then I went down to Guy's Hospital in London."

May still has a surviving sibling; her sister Gladys is 96 and lives in France.

"I speak French with my sister," she said. "I can sing to you songs in Spanish. I couldn't converse in Spanish for a long time now but French, of course."

May believes her long life could be down to genetics, having been the third member of her family to reach 100 and also having a sister reaching a ripe old age.

"I'm just lucky not to be ill," she said. "If you're ill and in pain I think that changes your personality completely."

Her daughter, Elizabeth, and son-in-law, Gerald, were at her party along with friends and staff from The Mount. Her favourite singer Debbie May also performed.

May said: "The Mount made me feel - no, all of us - feel like it was a party for everybody. It was really a party for the residents in The Mount. We had a beautiful cake. The atmosphere, and as a midwife having dealt with people all my life, the respect is permanently shown to the residents. I find that a very important thing.

"As an elderly person, I can honestly say truthfully that the atmosphere is a family atmosphere in this place. This to me and to most of us is a tremendous asset."

She proudly showed off her card from King Charles and Queen Camilla.

"I got a lovely card from the King and Queen which is in civilian clothes which is absolutely lovely," May said. "No crowns on them, they just look like a normal couple."