Oban woman Betty is a record breaker at 105

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North Argyll House Care Home celebrated a record-breaking resident when Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Paxton reached 105 years of age.

The staff at North Argyll House believe that Betty is the oldest person they have ever had in their care.

Betty was born on December 30, 1912, in Craignish, 25 miles south of Oban. She is one of seven sisters who grew up on a farm at Achnacree Beg near Connel. The three-mile walk to school and the hard work on the farm are two of the reasons that Betty attributes to her longevity.

After Betty’s father, Peter Connel, broke his leg while thatching a roof, the two youngest sisters, Betty and her younger sibling Jessie, played important roles on the farm. Jessie cared for the sheep and Betty the cattle – they were in essence the shepherdess and the cow girl.

Betty as a girl with her six sisters. Back row: Jean Campbell, Jessie Munro, Agnes Kennedy, Mary Hodge. Front row: Betty Paxton, Nan Campbell, Gracie Connell.
Betty as a girl with her six sisters. Back row: Jean Campbell, Jessie Munro, Agnes Kennedy, Mary Hodge. Front row: Betty Paxton, Nan Campbell, Gracie Connell.

Betty recalls that their social life consisted mainly of visits to and from neighbours who, with no internet, TV or radio, talked, sang and often told ghost stories.

Betty has lived in Oban for much of her life but has spent time living in both Mayanmar and Nigeria. Her three children, Doreen, James and Claire, were all educated at Oban High School before leaving for university.

Betty celebrated her 105th birthday with the staff and residents at the North Argyll House along with her daughter (Claire Black), grandson (Rory Black) and great-grandchildren (Nancy and Ewan Black).