Centenarian says keeping active is secret to a long life

Daughter Pam with 100-year-old Lilian Sauer
Daughter Pam with 100-year-old Lilian Sauer

On making it to 100-years-old, Lillian Sauer said “keeping active” is the secret to living a long life.

With a love of dancing, gardening and getting involved in local clubs, the Londoner moved to Eastbourne late in life, but has made it her home.

“I used to love being active,” said Lillian, who said “keeping busy” was her advice for would-be centenarians.

Lillian Sauer celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday April 26, surrounded by family and friends at the Orchardown Rest Home in Old Orchard Road.

Her daughter Pam said, “She had a wonderful party with 30 people. The rest home really did themselves proud.”

Lillian was born in Lewisham in 1915, and her father was abroad, fighting in Gallipoli at the time. She grew up with one sister and two brothers, and the family lived around London, on the docks throughout their childhood.

This was because when her father returned from the war he was a dock policeman. Lillian recalled a happy childhood playing on the docks, and she became a window dresser for a London department store in her teenage years.

She then met her husband Thomas, when the pair were ballroom dancing, and they married in 1940. She said, “I had a smashing wedding.”

The pair had two children, Pam and Joan, and the family lived in the Croydon area.

It wasn’t until the 1980s when she moved to Eastbourne when her husband died.

She wanted to move closer to her daughter Pam, who was already living in the area, so made a new home in Filching Road, Old Town. She lived there independently until last year, when she moved into the rest home.

Lillian spent her later years gardening, and she said she used to love dancing, knitting and baking for the local OAP club.

Celebrating her birthday last Sunday, she received a card from the Queen and politician Iain Duncan Smith.

Lillian has five grandchildren Mark, Alan, Louise, Andrew and Sophie, and seven great-grandchildren, Jake, Leo, Zack, Isabelle, William, Harriet and Jacob - who was born last Thursday.