A FORMER councillor has celebrated his 100th birthday – with a card from the Queen and personal letter from David Cameron.

Archibald 'Archie' Smith was joined by current councillors including the Mayor at his birthday party, on Friday, at Friary Lodge Care Home in Friern Barnet Lane Whetstone.

He was a ward councillor on Hampstead Borough Council from 1950 and for the London Borough of Barnet after it was formed in 1965.

He retired in 1990 to focus on looking after his wife, Sybil who was terminally ill.

In his letter leader of the Conservative Party Mr Cameron, said: “You can certainly be proud of all you've achieved for the residents in your period of office.”

Mr Smith was one of five children who grew up in Highgate, attending St Michael's School, Highgate until 14, when he left to go to the Sea Training School, joining the merchant Navy and travelling around the world until his late 20s.

He then joined the Fire Brigade and during the war served as a teacher and instructor in the Army.

After the war he worked for Prudential Assurance Company and stayed there until he was 60, moving to an archivist's job at the United Grand Lodge of Freemasons for 20 more years.

His only daughter, Geraldine Williams, said: “He's very much a leader of people, he's a good public speaker and he really cared about people.

“He never claimed expenses as a councillor because he thought that his role was to serve the community and he didn't think it was right. His whole mindset was to help other people.

“He worked very, very hard and made many sacrifices so that I could go to university and have a successful career.”

Mrs Williams, who now lives in Spain, said Mr Smith had never really recovered from the death of her mother who he nursed for six years around the clock.

For the past 12 years he has lived at Friary Lodge and she said had been looked after “excellently”.

Through his life the former councillor has enjoyed swimming, cycling, public speaking, politics, reading and history.

Mrs Williams added her father was “terribly proud” of his letter from Mr Cameron.