What a remarkable lady - Happy birthday Olive, 100 years young.

A former stalwart employee of this newspaper has just celebrated her 100th birthday.

By John A. MacInnes
Monday, 6th June 2022, 11:56 am
Olive celebrated her 100th birthday with her two sons.
Olive celebrated her 100th birthday with her two sons.

Olive Lloyd, hit her centenary on June 5. Though born in Aberdeen in 1922, she has lived, and called Fraserburgh home for almost 60 years.

Leaving school at the age of 15, she began working in a number of different places in Aberdeen as a book-keeper; these included a butchers shop, a baker and a tailors.

Olive joined the WRNS during the Second World War, serving in Arbroath, Fearn, and finally in Liverpool just as the war ended – incongruously, in a hospital as a dietician.

It was while serving that she met her husband to be, Jack, who was in the Royal Navy.

Just before her discharge, she contracted polio, leaving her with a weakness in her legs and back, but she never allowed that to hold her back in anything she wanted to achieve in life.

After the war, in 1947, she married Jack. She continued to live with her parents in Aberdeen while Jack continued to serve in the Navy, including as part of the British element in the Korean War.

Jack then left the Navy and he and Olive moved to Holyhead with her husband’s work as a coastguard.

They already had one son, Alan, born in Aberdeen, and their second son, Ian was born in Holyhead. Jack’s employment with HM Coastguard service work took them to Gourdon, then Blyth, then finally to Fraserburgh where the couple were able to settle and put down roots.

Olive didn’t go out to work while the boys were at school, looking after the family and home, but when the younger of the two boys went to University, Olive, at the age of 51, was persuaded back into the employment market.

She was employed as a book-keeper at Tait & Watt, joiners in Mid Street. There she had to cope with the introduction of VAT into the equation, devising a system that the firm’s accountants decided to take on themselves!

When the firm was looking to close, she was then asked to job-share at the Fraserburgh Herald, dealing with advertising mainly, but Olive was an individual who could turn her hand to any task required of her.

This was a job she loved, bringing her into contact with so many people, some who simply came in for a wee chat!

She and her co-worker were suitably portrayed in the Herald’s 1984 centenary edition as “The Herald Angels”. She continued working there until she was 70 – and even then rued retiring.

Though, at 80, she needed major back surgery, she continued to live on her own with no help coming in (aside from her two boys) right through until earlier this year, when a particular health issue demanded hospital intervention. It took till just short of 100 before the indomitable spirit had to give in and finally admit she could do with a wee bit of extra assistance in daily living!

Her birthday was celebrated with family and friends – including the former editor of the Fraserburgh Herald who had employed her.