Beer residents help mark popular man George Bastone’s 100th birthday

George Baston. Picture: Contributed

George Baston. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

One of Beer’s oldest residents was honoured by the village which helped him mark his 100th birthday.

At 11am, on April 23, villagers stood outside their front doors and sang happy birthday to George Bastone.

Then at 11.30am a family member drove him around the village so they could give Beer’s finest gentleman a day to remember with the flying of flags and much cheering and singing.

George, who was a twin, was born in Beer and was one of eight children. He was married to his wife Muriel for 65 years.

He has lived in his home of 70 years, so is a well-known and popular man in the village.

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George served with the Devonshire regiment in Burma during World War Two and rose to the rank of Sergeant. He was mentioned in despatches for distinguished service.

After the war he worked as a butcher in Beer for most of his working life and then as a driver for Racal electronics until he retired in 1985.

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A keen gardener, he is an honorary life member of the local horticultural society. He is also President of the Beer branch of the Royal British Legion.

When asked what he thought was the secret to a long and happy life he said: “I’ve always kept busy, having plenty of interests and also having enjoyed a loving and happy family life.”

When asked about the pandemic, he added that he thought if anything good could come from it, it was the fact that people were able to enjoy an enforced slower pace of life and time with their family.

“Hopefully people will realise that they can live without the things they have had to forego during this time,” he said.

George’s daughter Fiona said: “Sadly, family celebrations had to be put on hold but the people of Beer managed to do him proud while respecting social distancing.

“He is a very popular and much-loved member of the village known to everyone and was overwhelmed by the events of the day.”

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