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Clean living and plenty of laughs helped Min make 100

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 09/05/2015

Clean living and good food is the key to a long life, according to centenarian woman Min Hood. Randalstown-born Mary Anne Hood, known to all as 'Min', celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday at Kirk House in east Belfast where she lives with her friends.

First Minister Peter Robinson stopped by with his daughter Rebekah to wish Min well and present her with flowers.

"You look better than I do," the 66-year-old politician exclaimed.

Mr Robinson told the Belfast Telegraph he was thrilled to help Min celebrate such a milestone in her life.

"She is absolutely fantastic," Mr Robinson said.

"She was also born on (the same date as) VE day, which is particularly inspiring. We are delighted to be here to see her."

Described as compassionate, humorous and beautiful by her loved ones, Min explained she enjoyed reading the Belfast Telegraph and laughing and sharing stories with friends and family.

"I am a Belfast Telegraph reader for years and my family before me," she said.

Min was married to the late James Hood - a master baker who had the privilege of baking a wedding cake for the Queen.

They had two children Stewart and Rosemary, plus six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

After Min left school she worked as a stitcher in The Old Bleach in Randalstown and later in the York Street spinning mill in Belfast.

"We had good laughs and worked hard," she said.

Min has lived through two World Wars and marvels at the events she has witnessed over the years.

"In the wartime I remember sleeping under bridges and everywhere else when the bombs were dropping," she said.

"And I remember walking along the Antrim Road and a bomb had dropped just before us."

A regular at Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church, Min does not smoke or drink alcohol and has always enjoyed a healthy lifestyle.

"Clean living and good food," she said, adding her favourites included bananas, roast lamb and roast beef.

"What makes me happy is to see my friends and be friendly with everyone."

Min Hood's daughter Dr Rosemary Craig paid tribute to her beloved mother. Rosemary said: "She is a wonderful person and you only have one mum. I am so pleased and grateful to have her because she was very ill last year when she broke her back and she has come back from that.

"It is the good service in Kirk House, all the good company, it is the home, she loves it. It is a home from home."

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