Banknock woman says bingo, Irn-Bru and chips helped her reach 100

Mima Heaney was all smiles as she celebrated her new three-figure age. Picture: Michael Gillen
Mima Heaney was all smiles as she celebrated her new three-figure age. Picture: Michael Gillen

Banknock’s oldest resident has singled out bingo, Irn-Bru and chips as the secret ingredients to life-long happiness after celebrating her 100th birthday.

Centenarian Mima Heaney swears by her trusted trio of treats — and the Hillhead Avenue woman has every reason to, having reached the ripe old age last Friday by sticking to her diet ever since she was young.

Fittingly, a 100-strong gathering of family and friends turned out at the Railway Inn in Bonnybridge to mark the milestone occasion the following night as the birthday girl enjoyed a dance and sang her favourite song, The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen.

Mima, who is a member of St Luke’s Church in Bonnybridge, also received a Papal blessing from Pope Francis on her big day and she joked: “If I don’t get to Heaven it’s not my fault!”

Born on July 20, 1918 at the family home in Wyndford Lock, Bonnybridge, Mima was the second-oldest of 14 children and grew up in the Banknock area.

After finishing her school education in Kilsyth, she began her working career in Stein’s brickworks in Allandale, before going on to serve as a cleaner in the Big House in Banknock, caring for Second World War evacuees.

Not one to shy away from hard graft, Mima carried on working until the age of 76 in the kitchen at Glenskirlie House in Banknock.

During her work career, she also had eight children of her own with her husband, Patrick, who died in 1977. When she wasn’t working or having a ball in the bingo hall, Mima was looking after Myra, who would have been 78 this year, John (75), Thomas (70), Anne (68), William (66), Bernadette (64), Peter (62) and Jim (60).

Mima is now a grandmother to ten and also has eight great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Having survived a world war and been witness to the birth of the NHS, she is well-placed to offer a sage piece of life advice to younger generations.

Mima said: “Keep working and tell the truth, those are the main things.”

Her daughter Bernadette said: “She’s been blessed with good health and a good life. We’re so proud of her.”