Albert marks his 102nd birthday surrounded by friends

All Hallows daycare centre user Albert Goudge celebrates his 102nd birthday.Albert with Bungay Reeve

All Hallows daycare centre user Albert Goudge celebrates his 102nd birthday.Albert with Bungay Reeve Eamon Gaffney.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

At 102 years old, Albert Goudge of Ditchingham has seen and done it all.

But he still manages to find plenty of things to enjoy, thanks to his weekly visits to All Hallows Daycare Centre, he said.

Mr Goudge, who celebrated his birthday on Monday, served in the Royal Navy as a seaman during the Second World War, and was awarded a number of medals for his service, including the Arctic Star, presented to him shortly before his 100th birthday.

“I went all over the world during the war,” he said.

“I went through the Suez Canal, to India, I went to Australia, Cape Town and even Halifax Nova Scotia.”

Mr Goudge, who is originally from London, had three children with his late wife, and worked as a baker at Inwards in Bungay.

After suffering a heart attack at 62, he had a change of career and worked at the town’s Post Office until he retired at the age of 75 in 1989.

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The great-great-grandfather has lived in Ditchingham since 1970, which he says was ‘all fields’ when he first came to the village.

He still lives in his own home, but visits nearby All Hallows Daycare centre in Station Road three times a week.

And staff and fellow users of the day centre threw a party for Mr Goudge yesterday, which included musical entertainment and a visit from Town Reeve Eamon Gaffney.

“I’ve really enjoyed it,” said Mr Goudge. “I really have.

“When I turned 100 I had a big party but this one is even better.”

He stays in regular contact with his large family, particularly his three children who are now all pensioners themselves and says he has many friends at All Hallows to keep him occupied.

And as for the secret to his remarkably long life, Mr Goudge said he knows why he has made it to 102.

“Clean living,” he said. “I was a good swimmer, I cycled everywhere because we didn’t have cars, I married a lovely lady I met when we were at school and we were married for 60 years.

“I always looked after the wife and children and tried to be a good man.”

And at the ripe old age of 102, Mr Goudge does allow himself a single vice - a daily glass of rum.

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