AN ISLE of Wight resident celebrated her 100th birthday at Ventnor Botanic Garden, surrounded by friends and five generations of family.

Coral Palmer, who remains active and independent, chose not to accept gifts on the landmark occasion, instead requesting that guests make donations to Bloodwise, the UK based blood cancer charity formerly known as Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, with around £300 raised in total.

The cause is to her heart, with a family member losing her battle with the disease in 2017 at the age of just 41.

The birthday bash, on Sunday, October 27, was catered for by Coral’s grandson, David Holley, a chef at the on-site Edulis restaurant.

Speaking about Coral, David said: “She is an inspiration to me. She used to own and run her own cafe in Portsmouth and is responsible for my love of looking after people with food.

“I’m the head chef at the botanic gardens, so the chance to cater for my nan’s 100th birthday, with all her family and friends around her, was one I couldn’t pass up.”

Entertainment was provided by award-winning Huxley Magic.

Coral’s daughter, Ann Holley, said: “The weather was amazing, and almost everyone who was invited turned up.

"It was a lovely day which mum enjoyed thoroughly.”

Coral’s longevity is attributed, in part, to the fact that she has remained active, walking every day and swimming into her 90s, while living a lifestyle free of cigarettes and rarely indulging in alcohol.

Almost 50 guests attended the celebrations, aged between four and 100, including five generations of the family. Coral’s three grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren were all present.

Coral was born in Taunton, Somerset, relocating to Portsmouth at the age of 15 when her father took a job at the docks.

She met husband Sam and ran a bustling cafe in Milton for more than 20 years, before taking the short trip across the water and moving to the Isle of Wight.

Proudly displaying her card from the Queen, Coral said: “I’ve had a wonderful day.”

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