Centenarian Tonbridge Resident Says Secret to a Long Life is Being Naughty
Vera Greening, a resident at Rosewell House Extra Care Housing Scheme in Tonbridge, celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday, on Monday 3rd August.
Born just two years after the end of WW1 and in the same year that women were finally allowed to receive degrees at Oxford University and the Republic of Ireland gained independence, Vera grew up in London, where she lived until her thirties. She met her husband Vic, when she was in the WRAF and he in the RAF during WW2 and they went on to have three daughters, before moving down to Kent in 1954 to get away from the smog. Vera worked in housekeeping most of her life and sadly lost her husband in the 70s.
Today, Vera has three grandchildren, four great grandchildren and a great great grandchild, who lives in Cumbria. Up until just three years ago, Vera managed alone in her house, but a fall left her needing two hip replacements and the family decided it was time to move somewhere better suited to her needs. She has lived happily at Rosewell House since it opened its doors. Despite the big move and her advancing years, Vera is still strong willed, loves her food and has a great sense of humour. She loves to read and Tonbridge library regularly drop in books for her. She may be 100 but she is still as sharp as a needle and can clearly recall memories of her early days, including taking her young daughters to watch the Queen’s coronation in the early fifties.
“I can remember we were at the Mall watching the parade at the Queen’s coronation, we still lived in London then, I looked up and my daughter had got herself stuck under one of the horse’s legs!” She laughs.
Due to lockdown restrictions, Vera was unable to have the special celebration she deserves but she was able to see some family members and the staff at Rosewell House went all out to make her day special, decorating her lunch table with balloons, gifts, flowers, cards and a birthday cake. A representative from the local library also dropped some gifts, balloons and cards off for their VIP customer. The other residents wished her happy birthday from a distance and her family are planning to have a belated celebration when everything is back to normal.
So, what is her secret to living a long and healthy life? “Being naughty!” She chuckles, “I always thought I’d live a long life, my grandma lived to be 100 too but I don’t feel 100, not all the time anyway!”