Cyril celebrates 100th birthday
PUBLISHED: 19:30 03 June 2019
There could have been a hundred presents on offer for Harkstead man Cyril Hillman on his 100th birthday, but instead the charitable RAF veteran opted for a fundraising sing song.
The packed-out village hall of more than 100 people included Cyril's great-great-grandchildren and his old band mates from the Chelmondiston Male Voice Choir.
A trained watch and clock maker, Cyril proved he's the master of time as he blew out the candles on his grandfather clock birthday cake baked by his neighbour.
Although born in Sussex on May 31, 1919, Suffolk is the true home of Cyril and his family.
Cyril moved to Ipswich in 1954 after serving across the country for the RAF during the Second World War and working for De Havilland Aircraft in Hatfield - the makers of the world's first commercial jet airliner.
During a long stint in East Anglia, Cyril worked as a motor mechanic and later for Townsend Thoresen (now known as P&O Ferries) at the Port of Felixstowe, where the family briefly called home.
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He and wife Elsie later moved to Kent, but couldn't keep away from Suffolk for long, returning to live in Harkstead before Elsie sadly passed away in 2010 after 65 happy years of marriage aged 90.
Although no longer a member of his favourite choir, Cyril still enjoys a weekly sing song at Holbrook Methodist Chapel every Sunday and couldn't resist the urge to join friends for a song or two.
After the party, his son Colin Hillman thanked the local community for coming together, adding that Cyril had enjoyed a fantastic day.
He said: "It was a lovely, lovely day out for everyone.
"It was brilliant to see so many of our family and friends turn out to celebrate with him, there was more than 100 people there.
"His grandchildren got involved and played music for him too, which he loved - and he couldn't resist getting involved with the choir again.
"Dad really enjoyed it and thank you to everyone who came along."
Instead of opting for a hundred gifts, Cyril asked guests to donate towards four of his favourite charities, raising almost £400.