A FORMER Isle of Wight hotelier celebrated her 107th birthday surrounded by her family, who have never missed a birthday.

Mona Perry, who lives at Ancona Care Home in Freshwater, said: “I have been blessed with a beautiful family — my mother and father were wonderful, and I had great times with my two sisters.”

Mona was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, in 1912, moving to Birmingham at a young age, before heading to London during the Second World War.

It was while in the capital that she married husband Archie, in 1940 during the Blitz, and worked as a civil servant there until relocating to Essex from 1943 until the mid-1950s.

Mona and Archie then moved to the Isle of Wight, keeping a popular guesthouse in Totland for around 20 years, with Mona becoming officer of hoteliers on the Isle of Wight.

The guesthouse was so popular that Mona still receives more than 100 Christmas cards each year, many from people with whom friendships blossomed during their stay.

Mona, who remains a compelling storyteller with a penchant for humorous one-liners, doesn’t have any specific tips for longevity — but she has advised people to relish every day.

She said: “I’ve tried to enjoy every day I’ve been alive. If you can do the same then you’ve probably had a good life.”

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