Very few people get to mark their 100th birthday but Budleigh’s Donald Papworth did just that and as more than 40 people including friends and family turned up at his home in Northview Road to help him celebrate the occasion, he was keen to share his secret to a life as long as his. Deputy mayor Tom Wright was among the guests who’d been invited and Papworth’s son, Richard, had also come all the way from Brighton to be a part of the celebration.
Donald was a former chartered surveyor and he received cards from several distinguished persons on the landmark occasion include The Queen, his old school, and the secretary of state for work and pensions. Speaking during the event, the centenarian, claimed that he didn’t feel like he was 100 years old and he even joked that the secret to staying alive as long as he had was just ‘staying alive’.
Donald usually gets around the town using his mobility scooter and he is very well known among the people in the area. He is also known because he was quite an active member of the community. Despite suffering a strong 6 years ago, Donald still likes going around the town to visit places like the Slice of Lyme and Tea and Tittle Tattle where he likes to eat. He also used to go to the Public Hall once every week to attend Age Concern.
Currently, he is a member of the Probus gentleman’s club and is still the president of the town’s Royal British Legion branch. He also used to serve as the town’s flower club’s president, a position that he held for many years and he was also the Budleigh Salterton Art Club’s treasurer. Donald used to work for the body that was known then as Inland Revenue and he moved to Devon in the early 70s with his wife after being transferred to Exeter. Before being sent to work in Guilford, he lived in Topsham. However, when his wife was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage, he moved back to Devon.
The two moved to their Budleigh home, his current home, which was still a new build at that time. He retired in 1980 so he could take care of his wife. She would later pass away in the late 80s and that was when Don decided to dedicate his life to helping others. He drove for Hospiscare for 20 years.