A CENTENARIAN who celebrated her 100th birthday on a once-in-a-lifetime date puts her longevity down to “good old-fashioned food, hard work and a positive outlook”.

Mona Parnaby, who lives in the Elderwood care home, in Darlington, reached the milestone on December 12, 2012 – 12/12/12 – the last sequential date in the 21st Century.

She was born in Hull, to Frederick and Edith Ledger, moving to the North-East in 1921, when her father had his job on the railways moved to Darlington.

She had three brothers and three sisters, all now deceased, and they went to Corporation Road School in the town.

The family returned to Hull, but Mona returned to Darlington to marry bricklayer Wilfred Parnaby in 1932.

They were married for 58 years and had two daughters, Jean and Barbara. Mr Parnaby died in 1990.

Mrs Parnaby worked in Robinson’s bakery, in Coniscliffe Road, before retiring.

She said her biggest wish for today’s younger generation is for them all to find jobs.