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Ton-up barman toasts his special day in style

PUBLISHED: 12:08 04 September 2008 | UPDATED: 15:17 25 August 2010

PINT-SIZED HERO:  Joakim Christou celebrates his 100th birthday.

PINT-SIZED HERO: Joakim Christou celebrates his 100th birthday.

THE country's oldest barman is still pulling pints after celebrating his 100th birthday last week.

THE country's oldest barman is still pulling pints after celebrating his 100th birthday last week.

Greek Cypriot Joakim Christou celebrated his 100th birthday at Westwood Masonic Centre, Bellegrove Road, Welling, last Tuesday.

The grandfather-of-two, of Darwin Road, Welling, has served drinks there since 1988, having previously worked for 11 years at the former Granada Bingo Hall in Greenwich.

He said: "I like it because it's not really serious. You can talk to people, you see people, you are independent.

"I've seen a lot change since I started, but it's mainly been the prices going through the roof."

The teetotal barman, known as 'Chris', moved to London in 1929, served with the Home Guard during World War Two, and has lived in Welling for

44 years.

After retiring from various jobs in 1976, he decided to go into barwork to keep himself busy.

The Charlton Athletic supporter drank and smoked until he was 80 and claims he has never exercised.

He said: "I just live a normal life, there's no secret. I just feel alright and I don't think they mind at the bar.

"I need something to do and I don't feel very old. There's nothing else I want

to do."

At a surprise party held at the Masonic centre, friends, family and colleagues looked on as he received a 22-inch television from members and a goblet from Shepherd Neame.

As a birthday present, Charlton Football Club gave Mr Christou tickets to see his team play next Saturday, the first match he will have watched live in more than 50 years. Westwood Masonic Centre secretary Ken Richardson said: "Chris doesn't regale us with stories, but he's very friendly and popular with the customers. He's a real star."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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