‘Just keep smiling’ is the advice from Mona, 105

Mona Furminger on her 105th birthday SUS-150119-155800001
Mona Furminger on her 105th birthday SUS-150119-155800001

It was a celebration surrounded by family at Mona Furminger’s 105th birthday party on Monday.

And Mona, who lives at Shalom Rest Home in Carew Road, Eastbourne, has a big family.

She and her late husband Walter, have seven children, 22 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren and 17 great-great-grandchildren.

“She’s responsible for around 80 people,” said her daughters Linda and Marie.

Mona spent the day with family members and friends at the rest home, with a cake, a glass of sherry, and a card from the Queen.

She was thrilled to receive the card, wishing her a happy birthday, and said of the Queen, “I think she’s lovely.”

When asked the secret to a long life, Mona said, “I think, just keep smiling.”

The 105-year-old has lived a full and busy life, and Mona said these days she loves watching the snooker, and she loves dancing.

“I used to do an awful lot of dancing,” she said.

She also used to be the captain of the Alfriston Ladies’ Stoolball team.

As well as being captain of the stoolball team, Mona had worked in Tudor Tea Rooms in the village, and worked as a caterer at a Hailsham school.

Daughters Linda and Marie said their mother has ‘a terrific sense of humour’ and ‘she’s just always been on the go’.

Mona was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, on January 19, 1910, and spent her early years in service in Kensington Gardens, London.

But she moved to Pevensey, and then Alfriston when she met her husband Walter in the 1930s. They were pen-friends, who met through Walter’s sister. Walter, known locally as ‘Wally’, was a policeman in Pevensey and then Alfriston, and the family was well known in the area.

The the pair later became the steward and stewardess of the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club.

The couple retired to Hailsham, and Walter died aged 63, 44 years ago.

On her greatest achievement, Mona said it was having her seven children.

“They are all lovely,” she said.