Randal’s secret for reaching 100? Don’t eat vegetables!

Randal Black is celebrating reaching 100 years of age today and has revealed one of the features of his long life - counterintuitively - avoiding vegetables.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 6:30 am
Randal Black celebrates reaching 100 with a gift from Charlotte McClean, manager of the Old Inn, Crawfordsburn, where he is a regular customer. The inn presented him with a £100 hotel voucher and birthday cupcakes to celebrate his milestone.

The retired dentist was born to a farming family in Co Cavan 100 years ago today, and he attended The Royal School Cavan - which is having him back soon as an honorary guest. 

He went on to train in the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin and graduated in 1946. One of his proudest achievements was moving to Northern Ireland and being employed as a dentist with the NHS as it was born in 1948.He retired from his busy Hamilton Road practise in 1987 and has enjoyed a long and full retirement.

Asked what the secret of his long life was, he told the News Letter: “Good living, lots of hard work and good food. Plain food, nothing very excessive - good home cooking.”

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Asked if he means the traditional ‘meat and two veg’ he replies: “No, I don’t eat vegetables at all” and confirms he prefers simple meat and potatoes.His daughter Ann adds that he prefers “plenty of sugar on his strawberries plenty of butter on his spuds and plenty of salt”.

He had a “lovely long retirement” with his wife Doreen, nee Black, who was originally from Co Waterford, but who sadly passed away in 2019, she adds.

His main hobby during retirement has been fly fishing for salmon. “But I don’t do it any longer as I am not able to wade in the river any more because of my age.”

His interest today is mainly gardening. “Yes I think it is a great relaxation. It is nice to have a great garden and to be able to get up in the morning and walk around it and enjoy it.”

Randal still lives self-sufficiently on his own and goes for a gentle stroll each morning and evening.He has three children, John, David and Ann, eight grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

“I have been a member of Hamilton Road Methodist Church since I came to Bangor in 1948. I am very thankful that I have enjoyed good health all my life.”

As well as his hobbies, his daughter Ann adds one other factor she believes has kept him fit and well. “He keeps in touch with all his friends and family.” She adds: “As he was born in Cavan he has already had a letter of congratulations from the Irish President, Michael D Higgins. And today we are hoping his telegram from the Queen will also arrive.”

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