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Dora reaches her century

PUBLISHED: 11:12 30 December 2001 | UPDATED: 15:22 03 March 2010

HER siblings all enjoyed lengthy lives but Dora Lewis has surpassed them all to make it to her century.

Though her eight sisters and one brother have all passed away, many having lived well into their nineties, the centenarian still had plenty of family on hand to help mark her big day.

HER siblings all enjoyed lengthy lives but Dora Lewis has surpassed them all to make it to her century.

Though her eight sisters and one brother have all passed away, many having lived well into their nineties, the centenarian still had plenty of family on hand to help mark her big day.

At a party held at her Shaftesbury House home in Cowper Street, Ipswich, and surrounded by her three daughters – Christine Allen, 72, and twins Doreen Nicholson and Irene Compton, 71 – her three grandchildren and many of her six great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, Dora celebrated reaching 100 years of age.

Dora was born and bred in Ipswich, growing up with her parents and siblings in a house in Upper Cavendish Street.

She married Christopher Lewis in 1925 when she was 24-years-old and they lived together, bringing up their family in Britannia Road, until he died aged 57 in 1959.

During her years she worked as a cashier at a butchers in the town, at a local dairy and then, during the war, in an office in a Hervey Street factory which produced and sold stamps.

The sprightly 100-year-old lived on her own until seven months ago when she moved into St John's Court and then Shaftesbury House.

She had a lot of hobbies and Doreen said: "She used to read a lot and she crocheted, embroidered and knitted beautiful jumpers.

"She used to make a lot of our clothes, from when we were born until we were teenagers."

Although Dora's eyesight has deteriorated so she can no longer continue with her hobbies she has led a very healthy life.

"She has kept very healthy," said Doreen. "She's only been in hospital once in her life and that was three years ago when she had a suspected heart attack."

Her family believe her longevity is due to the fact she used to walk everywhere.

Doreen said: "She walked a lot. She was the only one in the family who did.

"Every Sunday she used to take us for a walk."

Dora received dozens of cards and lots of flowers congratulating for her special day which was celebrated on Thursday. It included a card from the Queen which took pride of place on a table next to her chair.

What happened in the year Dora Lewis was born:

N On January 22, after a reign of nearly 64 years, Queen Victoria died. She was succeeded by her son Edward VII.

N Actor Clark Gable was born on February 1.

N The Boxer Rebellion officially ended on September 7 with the signing of the Peace of Beijing.

N US President William McKinley started his second term in charge of the nation but was shot on September 6 by anarchist Leon Czolgosz >. Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as his successor when McKinley died on September 14.

N Italian physicist Guglielmo Marconi successfully received wireless signals transmitted from England to Newfoundland, Canada.

N The first Nobel Prizes were awarded. Jean Henri Dunant, Swiss philanthropist and founder of the International Red Cross, and Frédéric Passy, a French economist who founded the International League for Permanent Peace, later known as the French Society of the Friends of Peace, were awarded the first Nobel Peace Prize.

N On October 24 Anna Taylor was the first woman to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

N Australia declared independence from the federation of UK colonies on January 1.

N Dame Nellie Melba revealed the secret of her now famous toast on March 23.

Local events of 1901:

January 11, Trimley reservoir burst.

February 2, funeral of Queen Victoria, all public houses closed from 10am to 6pm.

February 26, send off lunch for South African Volunteers.

March 15, St Mary Quay Church, Ipswich, re opened after being closed for four years.

April 14, three shops damaged by fire Bent Hill, Felixstowe.

May 1, Corn Exchange, Ipswich, provisions market opened.

May 4, Ipswich Volunteers welcomed home from South Africa.

August 17, Lifeboat Saturday (carnival fund raising event).

November 2, horse drawn trams taken over by Corporation.

November 8, new wing of Museum opened by Mayor.


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