Page last updated at 20:34 GMT, Monday, 27 April 2009 21:34 UK

Man lives century in same house

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Alfonso De Marco moved from Italy to Britain in 1909 as a seven-year-old to live above the ice cream parlour that his father ran

A retired ice-cream seller who is celebrating living in the same house for a century has been reflecting on his long life.

Alfonso De Marco, 107, moved to Eastbourne from his native Italy in 1909 when he was seven years old.

His father opened an ice-cream parlour in the Sussex town in 1885 and Mr De Marco worked for the family from the age of 14 until he retired in 1975.

Mr De Marco's daughter said he loved the area and refused to move.

Wine drinker

Mr De Marco, who has eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, said he intended to stay in the house.

"I like it here, it's my house, I own it and no-one can chuck me out," he said.

He's only just recently given up smoking
Kevin Roberts
One of Mr De Marco's carers

He added: "I like Eastbourne very much because I've been here all the time, see."

One of Mr De Marco's daughters, Anita Dipilla, said, although her father was now almost housebound and had few interests apart from seeing his family, he refused to move.

"He loves the view from his window, so he's always just looking out and seeing the world go by," she said.

Another of his daughters, Pierina Caira, commented on her father's good humour.

"Wherever he goes, they adore him because he's never any trouble and I've never known him to complain about anything," she said.

Kevin Roberts, one of Mr De Marco's carers, said: "He likes to have a laugh: he's only just recently given up smoking - he used to smoke cigars quite regularly - and I think he still has the odd glass of wine when the family is around."

"It seems to do him well, doesn't it?" he added.



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