February 2, 2010

UK: Europe's oldest man celebrates 110th birthday

. LONDON, England / The Daily Mail / News / February 2, 2010 By Daily Mail Reporter Europe's oldest man has celebrated his 110th birthday at his Cornish home and says fresh air and good country food have helped him live so long. He first received a card when he was 100 and received one every year from 105 to 110. Stanley Lucas celebrated his 110th birthday in his home town of Bude, Cornwall surrounded by friends and family and his seventh card from the Queen More than 70 of Mr Lucas's friends and family joined the celebration, including his daughter Phyllis and her husband Gordon, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. 'It was fun,' he said. 'My grandchildren and great-grandchildren came.' Mr Lucas was born more than a century ago, on January 15, 1900 and served in both World Wars. 'I was called up three times - twice for the First World War and once for the Second World War,' said Mr Lucas. In his lifetime, Albert Einstein published the theory of relativity, the Wright brothers flew the first plane and Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon. Mr Lucas ran the family farm at Great Beer, near Bude, until 1948 and was co-founder and leader of Stratton Young Farmers Club. He moved to the village of Poughill just outside Bude in 1948 and later served as vice chairman of Bude Town Council. Before that, he remembers the abdication of King Edward VIII in 1936, when he passed the crown to George VI so he could marry his lover, the American divorcee Wallis Simpson. He remembers getting his first telephone in 1938 and his first motor car in the early 1940s. 'It was a Trojan car - and I also had a Titan tractor,' he said. 'Driving the car for the first time was enormous fun. 'There were no driving tests. I picked it up then I had to drive it home. I ran my brother-in-law to Plymouth and I hadn't driven five miles ever. 'We somehow made it there and back in one piece.' Mr Lucas married his wife Ivy, a farmer's daughter whom he met at Bude Fair, in 1926. They were married until Ivy passed away in 1963. He attributes his long life to fresh West country air and good country food, saying he's had 'lots of outdoor living and I've never travelled far.' Plus the 110-year-old has never smoked and only has the odd glass of sherry. He played bowls for Cornwall in the 1970s and was a keen football player. A supporter of Plymouth Argyle, he even has a birthday card signed by all the members of the team. When asked if he had any vices, Mr Lucas replied: 'Oh, I'm not going to tell you everything.' [rc] © Associated Newspapers Ltd