A remarkable Bonhill lady has celebrated her landmark 100th birthday surrounded by her loving family and friends.

Susan Johnstone received flowers, balloons and a cake as she enjoyed a beautiful meal at Duck Bay Marina and received congratulations from depute provost Karen Conaghan and deputy lord lieutenant Owen Sayer.

The festivities did not end there, however, as her friends at the Dalmonach Senior Citizens Club, which she enjoys attending twice a week, marked the special occasion with a buffet, music and bingo.

The celebration at Alexandria Community Centre was extremely well attended and also hosted Susan's daughter Cathleen and granddaughter Janette, who had travelled all the way from Canada, and her step-daughter Senga McGowan.

Her family told the Reporter: "In her long and fulfilling life, Susan as a wife, sibling, mother, grandmother, friend and confidant is much admired by everyone who has had the pleasure of coming in contact with this fabulous lady.

"Throughout her life Susan has shown an excellent work ethic and displayed all the attributes of a strong, successful woman, one that values family and has constantly shown her love and affection for them all, over many years. She is caring and selfless and is at her happiest when surrounded by family and friends. She is a popular lady who leaves a positive impression on everyone she meets, and it is testament to her that she remains as healthy today having always put others before herself.

"She has numerous family and friends that visit frequently due to her popularity, caring nature and outgoing demeanour."

Susan was born on December 30, 1918 in Alexandria, one of four children to Catherine and Charles Caulfield.

From a very early age she expressed a desire to be a dancer and after showing excellent potential and taking highland dancing lessons, Susan successfully ran three dance schools for years as a teenager in the Alexandria, Dumbarton and Helensburgh areas.

In 1937, she married Andrew Docherty at Our Lady and St Mark's Church in Alexandria and the couple went on to have two daughters Cathleen and Anne, before Andrew's untimely death as a prisoner of war following his service during World War II.

Until the age of 75, Susan worked in her family's well-known business H.D. Caulfield's in Dumbarton and Alexandria, as a florist initially and then latterly in the fruit shop.

Dance remained an enduring passion and she enjoyed travelling abroad and many nights dancing at St Patrick's Church hall, The Griffin Hotel and latterly sequence dancing in Glasgow with her second husband Jimmy Johnstone, who she married in 1964 and who had two children from his previous marriage, Jim and Senga.

The couple both shared a keen love of gardening, which Susan still loves today, as well as being an avid reader.

Her daughters, Cathleen and Anne immigrated to Canada and the United State respectively and Susan would frequently travel to visit them and continued to so until the age of 94.

In Scotland she has been blessed with four grandchildren and four great grandchildren, while between Canada and the US she has five grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and five great, great grandchildren.

Councillor Jim Bollan, who attended the birthday celebration held by the senior citizens club, said: "Susan is a lovely gentle woman who I have known for many years since I was a youngster being brought up in First Avenue in Dalmonach, Bonhill. Susan is a long-standing member of the senior citizens Tuesday and Thursday groups organised by Ann Moore.

"The club organised a lovely buffet lunch with a birthday cake with Susan's photo on it to honour her achieving 100 years of age. Susan and her family were delighted with the birthday lunch as were all the members who turned up to support her and to sing happy birthday to Susan, and to wish her well for the coming year."

Depute Provost Karen Conaghan added: “I was delighted, on behalf of the council, to congratulate Mrs Johnstone on her 100th birthday. 

“It’s lovely to be able to mark the occasion of a such a significant birthday as it allows us to recognise the contribution Susan has made to the life of the communities of Dumbarton and Alexandria here in West Dunbartonshire.

"I wish her many more happy years and continuing good health and happiness.”