Broch native celebrates 100th birthday

Charlie getting his cake while guests sing Happy Birthday
Charlie getting his cake while guests sing Happy Birthday

A local man celebrated his 100th birthday last month at Faithlie Care Home.

Charlie Urquhart, who was brought up and spent most of his life living in Fraserburgh, says the secret to a long and happy life is “faith in the Lord.”

Members of his family as well as staff and other residents of Faithlie celebrated with tea, sandwiches and cake as well as a live saxophone performance by Charlie’s brother-in-law’s Grandson Jonathan.

Charlie, who with his late wife Chrissie, had three children said he was surprised to see the celebrations.

“I wasn’t expecting this at all, it’s been a very big surprise e.

“The family arranged it and they have done a wonderful job, it’s all very nice.”

A working man until the age of 73, Charlie worked on the boats as a fishermen before becoming the skipper of his own vessels, The Wests, The Utility then later The Heather Girl in 1964.

During World War II Charlie was called to service where he was an able seamen on the HMS Antelope, the only British destroyer to sink two U-boats in one day.

Later he would become a Fleet Chief Petty officer on the Coln.

He served in the battle of the Atlantic and later in the Russian convoy’s before being offered a commission when the war ended, which he turned down.

“If I’d accepted that I would have stayed in the Navy and been away all the time, I wanted to spend time with my family so I turned it down and came back to Fraserburgh” he said.

His two sons Charlie and Jimmy both still stay in Fraserburgh while his daughter Christine stays in Peterhead.

Charlie also has eight grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren with twins on the way to join the family.

His Father died before Charlie could be born at the age of 26 and it was the three women, Miss Leech, Miss Morrow and Miss Gladwell at the People’s Mission in Fraserburgh who brought Charlie up as a teenager to be a Christian and have faith in God.

“I was very close with them for a long time, they would come and visit me a lot before they passed away.

“The brought me up to have faith in the Lord and thought that I’ve been able to live a long and happy life. It’s no secret really.”