100th birthday celebrations for Lynchmere navy veteran

Michael Tibbs celebrated his 100th birthday on Sunday (November 21) with residents of the village he has lived in since 1932.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 1:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 1:46 pm

The centenarian marked the milestone with a personal pantomime performance, a church service and a family lunch.

Residents from Lynchmere, where Mr Tibbs has lived for most of his life, also got involved to celebrate the veteran who has had such an impact on the village since first moving there in 1932, when his father was appointed vicar.

Leaving home to join the navy in 1940, Mr Tibbs served on HMS Tantalus where he did the longest Second World War patrol by any British submarine, travelling from Freemantle in Western Australia to Singapore.

Mr Tibbs showing off his letter from the Queen on his 100th birthday.

In 1951, he married Anne Wortley and, together, they worked in the Kordofan district of Sudan, where he was a district commissioner.

In 1954, the couple finally returned to Lynchmere where Mr Tibbs has lived since.

The great-grandfather is well-known locally for his efforts to purchase Lynchmere and Stanley commons for the Lynchmere Society and, particularly, as the producer of the village’s pantomime which was started by his father in 1947.

To celebrate Mr Tibbs’ birthday, residents of Lynchmere put on a surprise pantomime performance for him with 80 current and former members of the cast dating back to 1947.

A number of family members also read extracts from the programme notes which Mr Tibbs has been writing since 1967.

On the day of his birthday, there was a service in Lynchmere Church where he has worshipped for 89 years. A special choir was brought together especially for the occasion, and was joined by Mr Tibbs’ son Philip playing the organ.

The cherished centenarian was then joined for lunch by seventy members of his family, including his five great-grandchildren.

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