Peter Parkinson tells us about Charlie Allen’s 102 birthday celebration.
In our issue of December 1999 we congratulated Dan Parsons on passing his British driving test at the age of 92. This time we celebrate the 102nd birthday of our oldest member, Charlie Allen, for which birthday cake and champagne were arranged at the coffee morning of 26th January 2000 in the Hotel Paris-Londres. Around 50 Club members were present, and so were several representatives of the Andorran press, which later gave good coverage to the occasion.
Maybe we should reduce the qualifying age. We of the Magazine Committee will propose to the Executive Committee that in future any Club member teaching the age of 95 may claim as a right a celebration at our coffee mornings!
Charlie Allen was born in 1898 in El Paso, Taxas, just across the Rio Grande from Ciudad Juérez in Mexico. Like his father before him, Charlie has done a lot of travelling and enjoying living in several different countries, from some of which he leaned the languages – French, German, Portuguese, Spanish (this last learned at the age of 98, to be able to communicate with his Spanish housekeeper, Juanita, who looks after him with great care and kindness) It was primarily his work in the U.K. Consular Service that took him to these countries.
He served in the two World Wars, and the human suffering he saw in these years, and later the death of his wife are among his unpleasant memories. He lived 20 years in Portugal and it was in that country where he reached retirement age. He found living in Spain too hot for comfort, but thinks the climate in Andorra perfect, he has lived here for 11 years.
He continues to surprise doctors by being so healthy, although his eye sight is not good enough for much reading or watching TV, but he does not have much difficulty in listening to the radio or conversations. Keeping in touch with world events through the radio is part of his daily routine, and he like to do some walking every day, subject of course, to weather conditions. He still has a vey good memory, and in conversations one senses in him an enthusiasm for life that is likely to keep him alive quite a few years. “keep as active as possible” he recommends, mentally and physically.
Well Charlie Allen, is an example to all of us, especially to those such as the writer of this article. Approaching three-quarters of a century, not far short of the age of his son, aged 76.
Many happy returns.
Published Inter-Comm March 2000