Caring Ettie retires after 58 years

ETTIE Thunder began her career as a trainee nursery nurse and worked her way through the healthcare profession for 58 years.Today, Mrs Thunder, of Annbrook Road, Ipswich, is enjoying retirement after finally stepping down from the career she started as a teenager.

ETTIE Thunder began her career as a trainee nursery nurse and worked her way through the healthcare profession for 58 years.

Today, Mrs Thunder, of Annbrook Road, Ipswich, is enjoying retirement after finally stepping down from the career she started as a teenager.

She left her job with nursing agency Allied Healthcare with a goodbye party from colleagues and residents at Angel Court residential home in Hadleigh.

Mrs Thunder said: “I know I'm going to miss it. It's changed a great deal over the years but the basics of caring and interacting with patients are still the same and it's something I love doing.


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“I had to officially retire at one stage but I couldn't sit still and so my daughter introduced me to agency work.

“The only reason I'm giving up now is because I can't drive and I have to be at work early and it's getting difficult for my husband to get up at 6am to take me to work. If it was a 9am to 5pm job I'd get the bus and carry on.”

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Mrs Thunder moved to London from India with her family in the 1940s. She took a job as a nursery nurse when she reached her late teens, was awarded the 1950s' equivalent of an NVQ and worked as a nursery nurse for six years.

She then met and married Mr Thunder and had two daughters, Taeresa and Jacqueline, but returned to work while the children were still young - as a night auxiliary worker at a hospital in Watford.

The couple moved to Ipswich in 1970 and Mrs Thunder got a job in the pathology laboratory diabetic clinic, first at the Anglesea Road hospital and then at Heath Road.

She worked for a spell in the numbered clinic - now known as sexual health. It was so called because of the taboo surrounding sexual health and because patients were referred to by numbers, not names.

She then trained as a phlebotomist, collecting blood from patients for examination in laboratories, and an oncologist.

Her next move was supposed to be into retirement but she instead carried on working part-time in phlebotomy and part-time as a carer. Then, seven years ago, the grandmother-of-two, began working full-time with Allied.

Sandra Mcevoy, Allied's Ipswich branch manager, said: “Ettie has been a fantastic member of staff. She's well liked by all the clients and she's never let us down.”

Do you know a long-term employee who is retiring? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk and tell us their story.

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