Centenarian’s birthday is ‘the perfect day’

Joan Kent and family with Chichester mayor and mayoress Peter and Margaret Evans at the 100th birthday party. Picture: Derek Martin DM17630889a
Joan Kent and family with Chichester mayor and mayoress Peter and Margaret Evans at the 100th birthday party. Picture: Derek Martin DM17630889a

Chichester mayor and mayoress Peter and Margaret Evans were delighted to join guests at a 100th birthday party, held at Dell Quay Sailing Club.

More than 40 family members and friends gathered on Monday to celebrate with Mrs Joan Kent, a Chichester resident, at a tea party.

Daughters Rosemary and Christine, their husbands Rob and Tim, and grandchildren Matt, Alex and Katie were among the guests.

Rosemary said it was a great party for her mother, who was born in Gosport on June 26, 1917, and has lived in Chichester since 1988.

Joan said: “The sun shone, the tide was high and I was surrounded by those who mean so much to me for this special celebration – a perfect day.”

Joan lost both her parents at an early age. Her father, who was a royal marine, died when she was four, then her mother died when she was seven.

She went to Bristol to live with her aunt and uncle but they also died while she was young, in the 1920s, so she was then brought up by her cousin, who never married.

Joan married her husband Alan in 1949 and they set up home in Ashtead, Surrey, where both their girls were born and brought up.

Rosemary said: “When Dad died in 1982, she created a whole new life for herself. She always has a very positive approach to life and is always smiling. She tries to see the best in every situation.”

Since Alan died, Joan has lived near Christine and her family, first in Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, and later in the Summersdale area.

She has had a very active life in the Chichester area, at Lavant Church, as a member of Lavant WI, doing keep fit and gardening.

Joan has always loved Chichester Festival Theatre and the family still take her there, most recently only two weeks ago.