ISABELLA Mackenzie Vlandy, better known as Ella, celebrated reaching her century with friends at Roodlands Hospital in Haddington this month.

North Berwick resident Ella, a former international hockey player, was joined by a number of close friends as she turned 100.

And Michael Williams, Interim Lord Lieutenant of East Lothian, was on hand to present Ella with a birthday card from Her Majesty the Queen.

Ella told the Courier she had a “lovely” time at her party at Roodlands, where she is recuperating after illness and speaks highly of the care there.

And the secret to reaching the milestone? “Just be cheeky,” she said.

Ella was brought up in North Berwick. Her father came from Greece as a young man and, after working in Edinburgh for about 10 years, he and his Scottish wife took over the Redcroft Hotel in North Berwick, now converted into flats.

Ella, an only child, attended Miss Wyllie’s School on Marmion Road. She then went to St Bride’s School in Edinburgh and continued her education at Dartford College of Physical Education.

She started her teaching career at St Columba’s School in Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, and was latterly principal lecturer of physical education at Dundee College of Education. She was a keen sportswoman and played tennis, hockey, golf and curling, including playing hockey for Scotland on eight occasions.

She still visits Wimbledon each year.

Until recently she was a keen golfer and curler and is now an enthusiastic bridge player.

Her other great love is music, opera in particular, often combining her travels with trips to opera houses.