Aberdeen girl guides from across the city have helped to mark a former county commissioner’s 100th birthday.
Isobel Leckie today celebrated the milestone with flowers and gifts from friends and family, and received stacks of handwritten cards from young girl guides.
The great-granny – known as Tib – led the Aberdeen division of the long established group for 10 years from 1958 to 1968.
“Fulfilling my role as county commissioner was one of my greatest achievements,” she said.
“I had lots of fun and really enjoyed helping others. I was a guide as a young girl so I always had a connection.”
Isobel – who counts herself as “very fortunate” to still live independently – said her one wish on her 100th birthday, is simply to be able to go to her local shop.
She said: “Well, I’m just like everyone else at the moment. I’m staying at home but if I could have one birthday wish, it would be to be able to pop along to the shops on my buggy – Fred – and pick up some bits and bobs.”
“Maybe even a wee bottle of Baileys,” added Isobel, laughing.
While staying safe in her Aberdeen home throughout lockdown, Isobel has been keeping busy cooking, reading and walking round her garden…10 times a day. She credits staying active as one of her secrets to living a long and healthy life – that, and a bit of luck.
“I’m truly amazed to be turning 100,” she said. “But I must have good genes because my mum lived until she was 98 and her cousin lived until 102.
“I’m just very fortunate to have been blessed with good health and a wonderful family.
“I’ve been lucky and now I’ll keep on carrying on.”
A mother-of-three to Robert, the late Elizabeth and Hamish, Isobel not only dedicated 10 years to helping lead Aberdeen’s guides, but also committed herself to injured soldiers during the Second World War working as a nurse and ambulance driver.
The former student of Aberdeen School of Domestic Science married the late James (Jim) Leckie at Beechgrove Church on her birthday in 1941.
Newlywed Isobel soon found herself moving from Aberdeen to Larbert, near Falkirk, as a result of her husband’s career as a doctor.
It was then that she began working as a nurse, but after a year Isobel went on to join St Andrew’s Motor Ambulance Corps in 1942.
Then just before D-Day on June 6 1944, Isobel was recruited to an aerodrome near Swindon, England, and was attached to the RAF as an ambulance driver.
In 1946, Isobel’s husband James was granted the honorary rank of major when he was released from active military duty.
With his ever-progressing career, the pair moved the same year, this time back to the north-east, to Daviot, near Inverurie, when Isobel first volunteered for the Girl Guides.
James and Isobel then returned to the Granite City when James worked as a consultant psychiatrist for Grampian Health Board. He was also a clinical senior lecturer in the department of mental health at Aberdeen University. It was during this time that Isobel gradually progressed to taking on the role of county commissioner.
With a wealth of experience and a century of wisdom, what’s Isobel’s advice when it comes to living life?
“You just have to take everything as it comes. You have to hope for the best.”
“And hope everything behaves itself,” she added, laughing.