A MAN born in the same year as Laurence Olivier and John Wayne has just celebrated his 107th birthday in Newport.
John Donovan, who is believed to be Gwent's oldest man, was serenaded at his birthday party on Tuesday night and handed a bottle of sherry on behalf of the Royal Air Force in which he served as a young man.
Mr Donovan, who was born on August 19, 1907, and lives in St Julians, featured in the Argus last year as he still does his own shopping in Sainsbury's with the help of daughter Susan Ireland.
At the party at Glyn Anwen home on Tuesday evening, more than 50 fellow residents, friends, family and staff gathered to sing Mr Donovan "Happy Birthday", including the children of his late siblings as well as his own grandchildren and great-grand-children.
Mrs Ireland said her father had no idea about the party, which was organised by scheme manager Tina James.
"It was a big surprise," she said. "Tina has worked tirelessly to organise this, I just invited the family. He rose to the occasion."
Mr Donovan, a former tram driver who swears by his daily diet of prunes and bananas for his continued health, had been taken into Newport's Royal Gwent Hospital earlier this week but was able to attend his birthday party.
The mayor of Newport, Cllr Matthew Evans and his wife came to the party and handed Mr Donovan a bouquet of flowers.
Cllr Evans wished Mr Donovan "good health and happiness" and said: "This is when they say to the world, I've done my part and now the fun begins."
The care home residents cheered as Flight Lieutenant Dominic Warren from the Royal Air Force handed Mr Donovan a bottle of sherry as his birthday present and staff handed out glasses of tipple to the residents.
"I'm here to represent the officers and men of St Athan who would like to thank you for the time you spent in the Air Force, every generation would like to thank you," said Lt. Warren.
Catherine Divers, head of service at Linc Cymru, which runs the home, also gave Mr Donovan a bouquet of flowers and singing duo Sweet Divas serenaded him throughout the party.
Last year on his birthday Mr Donovan was invited by Sainsbury's staff to their store restaurant in Crindau, where he eats regularly, and was given a free meal, a bottle of sherry, and a chocolate cake.
The Second World War veteran who was stationed in Burma and India revealed a fondness for Red Leicester cheese, carrots, jam tarts and his favourite Mr Kipling’s farmhouse cake.
BLOB Do you know of anyone older in Gwent? Call the newsdesk on 01633 777226