A WORLD War Two veteran and respected citizen will celebrate his 100th birthday on Monday, March 7.

John M. Gill, a Ponteland resident and past President of Ponteland Rotary Club, will celebrate his 100th birthday with a special lunch at the club on Wednesday, March 9, where he continues to be an active member.

Archie McGlynn, the current President of Ponteland Rotary Club, said: "He is an active member of our club and seldom misses a meeting or charity function."

"Now and then he participates in ‘Members’ Day’, sharing his life experiences, especially of Africa."

Ponteland Methodist Church will celebrate his birthday on Sunday, March 13, where he was a Lay Preacher until his 96th birthday and still delivers a regular message on the Methodist Church network.

He will deliver a video message on his 100th birthday.

John has had a varied career, from employment in the Bomb Disposal Unit in World War Two, appointment to the Colonial Service following the war, where he led many civil engineering projects in Kenya, Nigeria and Mozambique, and has written at least three books documenting his experiences in Africa.

After he left the Colonial Service, he took up senior positions at what was then the Tyne and Wear Metropolitan Authority in 1973 until 1983 as the Director of Technical Services and Technical Adviser to Northumbria Police and Northumbria Probation Services.

He was also on the Lord Chancellor's Panel of Public Inquiry Inspectors, from 1983 until 1992, before he took on the role of President of Ponteland Rotary Club from 2008 until 2010.

Archie says John is a talented painter and his garden is home to many wood carvings he has worked on, which many stop to admire as they walk past.

"For me, John is a modest and quite unassuming man, and without a touch of arrogance. I am privileged to call him my friend and mentor during my year of President of Ponteland Rotary Club," Archie said.