100 Years of Freda

One of our lovely residents, Freda Riste turned 100 recently and she says the secret to a long life is to not get stressed and ‘be appreciative of what life gives you’.

Freda celebrated her landmark birthday in style with her family and friends. After blowing out the candles on her 100th birthday cake specially made by our Head Chef, James Blight, our team had arranged for Andover singer Vicki Parkinson to perform in the afternoon who charmed us all with well-known classics from the 1940s era. Freda was also later treated to an evening of songs by the Middle Wallop Military Wives Choir.

Freda had been looking forward to her special day and last week went shopping with one of our Activities Co-Ordinators, Jo, and bought a special blue dress to mark the occasion – she would never dream of turning up to a party in a dull outfit!

Freda said: “We were never very well off as far as money was concerned, but I never got stressed and never wanted for anything better than I already had.”

“I had a wonderful life with my husband Harold and I was always happy just being with him – we never went to bed on an argument.”

“My fondest memory is when my daughter Valerie was born and I remember the Matron brought in a knitted fur baby coat for her which was so kind.”

Freda, who married Harold in 1936, but is now widowed, had the joy of being with her large family on the day – her daughter Valerie, three grandchildren, Sandy Nicolas and Simon, seven great-grandchildren Sam, Megan, Joe, Tristen, Camilla, Malin and Joshua, and her two great-great-grandchildren Trinity and Mikey. Freda came to live at Harrier Grange when her granddaughter recommended it to her.

“The food here is really good, and I love the staff and Kay, the Manager. I really enjoy all the things there are to do and the company here. I’m so grateful to be able to celebrate my 100th birthday here with my lovely family which has grown so large.”

Despite living though World War II and the fear and hardships that brought, Freda always looks at things positively and with gratitude.

She was 21 when the war started, and she clearly remembered the blackouts. “During the air raids, we had to go hide somewhere in the house,” she said. “It was a frightening time, but of course we got used to it.”

Having worked in a cafe during the war, Freda made great friends with many customers and later on in life went on to own and run a guest house with Harold in Weymouth. The guest house is what Freda sites as her best achievement: “It was an ambition of mine as I always wanted to run my own business.”

Kay Kelly, our Home Manager, said: “We are so happy to have Freda with us at Harrier Grange. She has a wonderfully positive outlook on life and we are all very fond of her.”

“We are proud to be able to offer Freda the quality of care and standard of life that she deserves and enjoys at our home. Everybody at Harrier Grange would like to wish her a very happy 100th birthday.”

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