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Arran’s newest centenarian Sal Bannatyne is a familiar face to many on Arran having served as an island postwoman for more than 31 years. And she celebrated her 100th birthday with a special card from the Queen.
Retiring in 1978 from many years of being the reliable and friendly face delivering mail on her bicycle, through rain, sleet, snow and sunshine, Sal has lived a long and content life surrounded by friends and family.
Born on Glenkiln Farm on April 7, 1918, she lived with her five siblings and other farming families at Benlister where her father was a ploughman. Living her entire life on Arran and meeting her husband there, Sal had two children with Jimmy Bannatyne – Sheena and Greta. There was one short period where Sal tried living on the mainland at nearby Lochgilphead but it was only for a few years before she wanted to return to Arran.
Attributing her many years of honest, hard work as one of the reasons for her longevity she also credits a glass of milk and a particular fondness for honey as helping to keep her healthy.
Sal enjoyed a huge gathering of family and friends, some who travelled from the Isle of Skye, to celebrate her birthday last Saturday. Her house at Glen Estate sheltered housing still adorned with decorations and well over 70 cards wishing her well on her special birthday. Sitting on the mantelpiece, and one that she is particularly fond of, is a card from the Queen offering her best wishes.
While mentioning that much had changed over the years on Arran, such as many of the old buildings which have been knocked down – her favourite being old dance venues and village halls – she maintains her cheery outlook, warm smile and incredible sense of humour that has undoubtedly enamoured her to the legion of friends – some from her childhood – who know and love her.