A Jordanstown centenarian is celebrating a milestone 106th birthday, earning him a place in the record books as Northern Ireland’s oldest man.
Billy Noble was born on January 5 1909, and has now received his seventh birthday card from the Queen and his seventh birthday medal from the President of Ireland in recognition of his longevity.
The local man still lives in the same Jordanstown house which he bought in 1938 when embarking on married life with his late wife Maude.
The couple had three sons; Denis, Desmond and Colin.
As a child, Billy went to Skegoniell Primary School before attending Belfast Inst.
He then worked as a civil servant, becoming Comptroller of Estate Duty in Northern Ireland, and was awarded the CBE in 1973.
Billy now attends St Patrick’s Parish Church in Jordanstown.
Billy’s daughter-in-law Pamela Noble MBE says that he is enjoying being treated as a celebrity by the media and his family during his birthday celebrations.
She revealed: “We had a day full of things to celebrate his birthday.
“There were so many people from papers and from TV stations, you name it.
“The whole family got together to celebrate the day.
“It’s still a big highlight when the card from the Queen arrives, although it has happened so often now that Billy takes it all in his stride.
“He also gets a medal from the Republic of Ireland every year and he got his centenarian’s bounty of around £2,500 when he turned 100.”
Pamela says that Billy is still “very alert.”
She laughed: “He can have a good conversation and he has a good memory, in fact he has a far better memory than I do!”
Pamela and her husband Denis now live in Billy’s house in order to care for him.
However, she says that the attention her father-in-law has recently enjoyed is nothing new.
She explained: “Billy has a positive attitude and he’s been a bit of a celebrity in the family for years with his personality!”