A FORMER convent secretary was surrounded by cards and flowers yesterday as she celebrated her 100th birthday.

Joan Bennett, of St Katharine’s House in Wantage, received gifts from her family around the world, including Australia.

But she said her favourite card had been from the Queen and added: “I never dreamt I would have got to 100.”

Miss Bennett was brought up in Chester and went to art school in Liverpool before studying nursing and taking a job in Manchester.

She moved to Wantage in the 1960s to become a secretary.

She worked at St Mary’s Convent in the town, a job that her niece Rosemary Chare, 66, of Kent, said she enjoyed.

Mrs Chare said: “I think she is amazing really to have got to this age, and she is just full of fun.”

Miss Bennett, who has lived at the care home for 23 years, did not get married or have children but has three nieces, a nephew, three great-nieces and two great-nephews.