Marina was born on the 24th February 1912 in Winchburgh near Edinburgh to Ludovico Ruggi from Montefiorino (Modena) in Emilia Romagna and Adele Rinaldi from Barga.
During the 1914/18 war she was in Barga, with her parents and brother Sergio while Ludovico served in the Italian Army. Marina started school there and Guido was born. After the war the family returned to open a new Fish & Chip shop in Broxburn where Marina continued her schooling. When she was 15 they moved to Crieff and she then worked in the new Cadoro Café.
Marina was very keen on dancing and soon met Jimmy Mackechnie whose father was the chief engineer at the newly built Crieff Hydro.
Despite parental opposition she became engaged to Jimmy and then they married in 1939. The couple moved to Dysart where Jimmy was the manager of the DCL grocery store.
In 1944 the family moved to Markinch to open their own grocery business.
The business prospered and soon foreign holidays were the norm with a cruise, holidays in Paris with friends and an adventurous Grand Tour of Europe by car, ending up in Fosciandora near Barga, their car being the very first ever to enter the village……and only after a lot of pushing by locals up the final unmade track into the piazza.
Marina has continued to visit Barga almost every year since, meeting old friends and family still in the Barga area. Now her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have discovered Barga for themselves
Marina has lived through two World Wars, seen the arrival of votes for women, silent films and then the ‘Talkies’, electric lights, the motor car, telephone, radio, television, central-heating and the electronic revolution. She has embraced them all and believe it or not, she is still flying and travelling.
The party is being held at Balbirnie House Hotel in Markinch, Fife, Scotland at lunch time today.
Yesterday (Friday) her actual birthday was pretty hectic with visits from the Provost and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant , neighbours and friends,with the house apparently ended up looking like a florist shop.
Last night Marina was seriously discussing the possibility of visiting Barga next September