IT was many happy returns for one care home resident yesterday as she marked a milestone birthday.

Evalina 'Ena' Park celebrated turning 100-years-old at the Lavender Hills Care Home in Ramsbottom.

A great-grandmother of five, Mrs Park was born in St Helens in 1920 and has lived across the North West.

After leaving school aged 15, Ena trained as a shorthand typist and comptometer operator.

In the 1940s she joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) and became a radio operator.

It was in the RAF that she met Sergeant Daniel Park from Glasgow.

Although Sgt Park was four years her senior the couple quickly fell in love and married in 1943.

Soon after, the couple's son Colin was born, just a few days before Mrs Park's own birthday, on July 1 1944, at her parents' home in Eccleston, Chorley.

For the next few years the family lived in Scotland, before Mr Park rejoined the RAF in 1952.

He was posted to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), and some time later Ena and Colin went out to join him ­— travelling by troop ship through the Suez Canal.

Over the course of the decade the family moved between Ceylon, Britain and Cyprus, according to Mr Park's deployments.

However, in the 1960s he left the RAF and secured a job at the Ferranti works in Lancashire.

The family moved to Cunningham Drive in Whitefield, where 'the second half' of their lives began.

At this time Mrs Park began working at Donald McPherson's paint factory, where she was employed on costing materials and wages.

By the 1980s the couple were living in Bolton and would spend their time taking coach holidays.

Mrs Park would also take holidays abroad with her daughter-in-law, Bridget, including to Southern Europe, the USA, Canada and Japan.

The couple also became grandparents to Tony and Ian, and their wives Seiko and Caroline, as well as great-grandparents to Alex, Akira, Sophia, Demi and Brodie.

Mrs Park was described by family members as a 'hands-on granny' who loved to join in with fun and games.

Sadly in 2004 Mr Park died at the Royal Bolton Hospital, after increasingly suffering from dementia.

Mrs Park also faced battles with bowel cancer and ME, and, as she entered her 90s, she moved into Lavender Hills Care Home in Stubbins Vale Road.

This week, to mark her birthday staff at the care home arranged a special party for their 'Pearl Lady'.

She also received a special birthday card from The Queen.

In a statement wishing Mrs Park 'the biggest happy birthday', staff at Lavender Hills said: "You deserve a standing ovation. You’ve always been a superstar.

"Now that you're in Act III of your life, we just want you to know you have always had a talent for being so wonderful. We love you.

"May every minute of your 100th birthday be filled with the immense joy you've shared with your loved ones for 100 years.

"Wishing you many more years of good health, overwhelming happiness, amazing grace and perfect peace of mind."