Whitgift Care resident reaches the grand age of 106

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A much-loved resident, Annie Reader, at Wilhelmina House residential care home has celebrated her 106th Birthday making her Whitgift Care’s oldest ever resident.

The home’s staff and residents, along with Annie’s family enjoyed a social distancing party with cake and sherry to mark the big day on 23rd July 2020.

Annie attributes this milestone birthday to a glass of sherry a day and she enjoys being taken around the home’s beautifully landscaped garden in her wheelchair.

Asked what advice she would give to herself if she was 18 years old again, she replied: “Be kind and respectful to each other.”

Annie’s life has seen her go on many adventures to far flung countries visiting her son in all the places where he was a Diplomat such as Nepal, Swaziland, Egypt, and Cambodia to name a few. A dare devil at heart, Annie braved a zip wire ride at the age of 89.

Having lived through two World Wars, not to mention the current global pandemic, Annie has plenty of stories to tell:

Annie recalls during World War II when an air raid hit Barrow, Cumbria, whilst she took cover in an air raid shelter. However, her father stayed at the family home, and when a bomb hit her street, she remembers on arrival back at the house seeing her father covered from head to toe in soot.

Her husband Stan was a merchant seaman and when his ship sunk, he was captured and remained as a prisoner of war in Japan for three years. Stan didn’t see his son Malcolm until he was four years old. During that time, Annie had no idea if he was dead or alive.

Dawn Rule, Activity Co-ordinator at Wilhelmina House, said: “Annie is a ray of sunshine and always an absolute delight to talk to. We had a truly enjoyable time celebrating with her family and friends, although I don’t think she can quite believe she has reached this age!”

Her husband Stan was a merchant seaman and when his ship sunk, he was captured and remained as a prisoner of war in Japan for three years. Stan didn’t see his son Malcolm until he was four years old. During that time, Annie had no idea if he was dead or alive.

Dawn Rule, Activity Co-ordinator at Wilhelmina House, said: “Annie is a ray of sunshine and always an absolute delight to talk to. We had a truly enjoyable time celebrating with her family and friends, although I don’t think she can quite believe she has reached this age!”

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