The UK’s oldest man celebrated his birthday this Wednesday and is now 109. However, he has refused the traditional birthday card that people receive when they are over 100-years-old.
Robert Weighton was born in 1908 and has therefore lived throughout two world wars and the reign of four other monarchs beside Elizabeth II; an impressive feat that not many can claim.
Despite this, he has requested that The Queen should not send cards every year. He says he doesn’t want to add to the ones already in his flat, but as well as that, he says The Queen always looks “miserable” on her official correspondence.
Robert said: “I decided not to receive a card every year from the Queen because I didn’t want a huge collection of cards that I add to every year,”
He added: “However, I did accept one from her two years ago because it’s the only one I’d seen that she was smiling on. In the rest of the cards, she looked a bit miserable while on official duties.”
Even though he doesn’t want a birthday card from The Queen, he is no Republican and says that he “won’t hear a word against” The Queen.
Robert Weighton has lived what seems a fulfilling and exciting life, having lived in Japan, Taiwan, Canada and the USA. He says that his secret to his long life is because he was “fortunate”.
He added: “I’ve eaten food I never thought I’d eat, made friends with people I never thought I would meet and been places I never thought I would go – but I’m not sure there really is a secret to living so long.”
He left for Taiwan in 1925 where he worked as an English teacher following the decline of the shipping industry. It was while training for his job that he met his wife, Agnes. She had already been scheduled to teach in Ghana, so they wrote to each other in a time where communication was limited, and letters would take six weeks to reach their destination.
On his return to the UK, they were stranded in Canada following the outbreak of World War Two.
Robert said that: “The Canadian people were amazing. We were refugees really, and they did their best to help us as much as they could.”
He later moved to the USA where he first worked as an engineering supervisor. However, his knowledge of the Japanese language meant that he was recruited to decipher enemy messages and damage Japanese morale.
After the war, both he and his wife were able to return to the UK with their two sons and daughter.
Both Mr Weighton and his wife spent a lot of their retirement volunteering as marriage councillors while also helping at youth groups in their community. Agnes, his wife, passed away in 1997.