A REMARKABLE woman believed to be the oldest person living in Wales has celebrated her 108th birthday.

Amy Winifred Hawkins, said she had enjoyed a “fabulous” birthday yesterday, surrounded by family, cards, and “enough flowers to open a shop”.

She celebrated her special day with her daughter, Rosemary Morris; son-in-law Rob, granddaughters, Tamzin and Hannah; and great-grandchildren Sacha and Mabli at her home in Monmouth.

She received a card of congratulations from the Queen, as well as a message from Wales’ first minister, Mark Drakeford, who wrote: “I am writing to congratulate you on the occasion of your [108th] birthday – it is really something to celebrate when you reach such a remarkable milestone. I send you my personal good wishes for a very happy and enjoyable day.”

Mrs Hawkins also received a birthday bouquet from staff at the local Waitrose.

Born in Cardiff on January 24, 1911, but spending most of her childhood in Newport, Mrs Hawkins (nee Evans) grew up with five brothers and one sister, Lillian – who recently celebrated her 99th birthday.

The family lived near the docks in Newport, where her father was an insurance agent and her mother looked after the family. Her aunt, also named Lillian, ran a boarding house for sailors who arrived in port from overseas.

The young Mrs Hawkins was a keen dancer and toured the country with her dance troupe, before settling into shop work.

She married sign-writer George Hawkins in 1937 and lived in Newport throughout the Second World War, during which she served as a fire-watcher for her local neighbourhood.

The couple’s only child, Rosemary, was born in 1947, and grandchildren Tamzin and Hannah were born in 1967 and 1981, respectively.

Following her husband’s death in 1996, Mrs Hawkins continued to live alone but later, at the age of 96, she moved in with her daughter and son-in-law in Aylburton, Gloucestershire.

She now resides in a farmhouse in Monmouth, along with four generations of her family under the same roof.

When asked how she felt about her age, Mrs Hawkins said: “I don’t really know how to feel about that.

“I don’t feel older, and I can still do chair-dancing.

“I’ve had a good life – a busy life – I’ve never been out of work, and I’ve never interfered with anybody.”

When asked about the secret to a long and healthy life such as hers, Mrs Hawkins joked: “Minding my own business.”