Ipswich: Web-surfing centenarian Rena Daniels marks 105th birthday

Rena Daniels with her nine-month-old great-great-grandson Oliver.

Rena Daniels with her nine-month-old great-great-grandson Oliver. - Credit: Archant

She was born in 1908 when King Edward VII was on the throne.

Rena Daniels in 1936 when she was a private nurse. She would have been 28 years old.

Rena Daniels in 1936 when she was a private nurse. She would have been 28 years old. - Credit: Archant

And on Friday, web wizard Rena Daniels, who lives at Shaftesbury House residential care home in Ipswich, celebrated her 105th birthday.

The centenarian marked the occasion with a party with family and friends and received birthday wishes from relatives in Australia via email on her iPad.

Mrs Daniels was born to Robert Graham, a farmer’s son and draper, and Lillian Graham, a milliner. She grew up with her four brothers on the family farm in Cumbria.

She said: “I have lots of marvellous memories of my childhood growing up on the farm.

“We had our own pony that I remember my father teaching me to ride.”

Mrs Daniels attended school until the age of 14 before training as a nurse in Scotland and undertaking general nurse training in Ipswich in the 1930s.

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On a night out at the Hippodrome Theatre in Ipswich, she met musician Jack Daniels who she married in 1937.

The couple settled in York for 10 years and had two daughters, Judy and Suzie.

Asked the secret to her longevity, Mrs Daniels said: “I suppose I could put it down to having a busy, happy life, enjoying time with family and watching my daughters grow up.

“Also, no swearing, smoking or drinking – and having a good husband who only swore occasionally!”

After returning to Ipswich in 1950, Mrs Daniels became a member of the Ipswich Mother’s Union, canvasser for the Conservative Party and a Samaritan at St Stephen’s Church.

She attended Keep Fit classes at the town hall until the age of 93.

But her most recent hobby is surfing the internet after taking part in an IT training course at the Community Volunteers Centre in Princes Street two years ago.

Mrs Daniels added: “It’s great to use my iPad to get in touch with family who live far away, you can let them know things that have happened quickly.

“It’s marvellous.”

She shared her party with her daughters, two grandsons Christopher and Timothy, five great-grandchildren and great-great-grandson Oliver.

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