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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 May, 2003, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Century for globetrotting GP
Dr Hector Greig
Dr Greig now plays electronic bagpipes
A bagpipe-playing, globetrotting former doctor is putting his feet up as he celebrates his 100th birthday.

Dr Hector Greig of Abbeyfield House home for the elderly was surrounded by family and friends when he received his telegram from the Queen on Wednesday.

And celebrations will continue on Saturday when Dr Greig will be piped in by two bagpipers to attend a party and concert featuring Brecon Male Voice Choir.

Dr Greig moved to the area five years ago to be near his daughter, Ruth Lyle, of Sennybridge, who recently retired as a potter.

I had to give the bagpipes up when I was 80 because I had run out of puff
Hector Greig

But travel is nothing new to this intrepid GP, who walked from Kathmandu to the base of Everest at 71.

And aged 90, he made 15 different flights around the world to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and America to visit his relatives.

Electronic bagpipes

Dr Greig joked that when people asked why he had lived so long, it was because of the fun he had in local discos.

His one regret is that he is not able to play the bagpipes anymore.

"I had to give the bagpipes up when I was 80 because I had run out of puff," he said.

"But I've now got electronic bagpipes where I can still play the chanter part."

Dr Greig's daughter, Ruth said her father was an extraordinary man.

Mount Everest
Dr Greig walked to Everest base camp when he was 71

"When he set off around the world when he was 90 he only took one bag with him," she said.

Dr Greig was born in South Africa in 1903. His mother died during child birth and he returned to Britain to live with his grandmother in Edinburgh.

After travelling extensively during his youth, including one trip around Iceland on a pony, he took up medicine when he was 31.

He practised as a GP in Fife before retirement although he carried on as a locum until he was 90.

But the highlight of his life, so far, according to Dr Greig, who still goes for a walk every day, was the trip from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp.

"It was a fantastic experience to be three and a half miles above sea level and be able to look up at Mount Everest," he said.

Everest boost gives Nepal hope
14 May 03  |  South Asia
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02 Jun 02  |  Scotland

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