Former ICI Grangemouth chemist Donald celebrates 100th birthday

A scientist credits placing a focus on work as an integral part of the formula which enabled him to celebrate his 100th birthday.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 3:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 5:58 pm

Donald Sarfar reached his three-figure age last Friday surrounded by family members.

The centenarian’s celebrations then spilled over into the following day as more relatives, including his daughter Pamela Gavin (67) and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, visited his home in Dumyat Drive, Falkirk for a party to mark the milestone.

There were cakes and cards aplenty, as well as a congratulatory message from the Queen, as the long-serving Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) Grangemouth chemist smiled for the cameras and gratefully accepted the many well wishes directed his way.

Donald Sarfar was joined by all of his family as he celebrated his 100th birthday. Picture: Alan Murray

Originally from Southend-on-Sea in Essex, Donald grew up an only child and completed his studies down south before securing employment as a chemist with ICI in Manchester.

A transfer to ICI Grangemouth then followed — a post Pamela says her dad “loved” — and he would spend close to 40 years with the firm before taking early retirement at the age of 57.

As well as Pamela, Donald had twins Geoff and Raymond with wife Vera, however, his sons sadly died in 2000 and 2001.

The Sarfars upped sticks from their first home in Dumyat Drive and relocated to Pembroke in Wales after Donald retired but the pull of Falkirk, where they had called home for four decades, proved too much and the husband and wife duo returned to the same street in the town where they’d first called home, settling down just a few doors along the road.

Vera passed away 11 years ago shorlty after the couple had been granted the Freedom of Falkirk for Donald’s services to chemistry in the area.

Aside from his family and his work, Donald’s other passions revolved around photography and swimming; his role as an instructor in Grangemouth saw Donald teach many youngsters how to swim over the years.

When it comes to helping the younger generations to navigate their way through choppy waters in life, Donald swears by working hard and having a healthy lifestyle, as the former Christ Church member has never drunk alcohol nor smoked.