Roses to celebrate Harriet’s 105th year

FELIXSTOWE: Two special roses have been planted in the gardens of a retirement home to celebrate the 105th birthday of its oldest resident.

Staff and residents of Foxgrove Retirement Home held a party for Harriet Samways to mark her special day on Tuesday.

Born at Bawdsey in 1905, Mrs Samways was one of ten children – the second child of her parents Isaac and Sarah – and spent much of her young life helping to care for her siblings.

She was married for 29 years to Morris Reve and then married for a second time, seven years after his death, to Eric Samways, also for 29 years.

She joined the St John Ambulance after her first husband became ill and later worked as an auxiliary nurse at Ipswich Hospital.

Mrs Samways believes the secret to her longevity has been hard work – all her years of keeping busy.

“I have always worked and enjoyed it, too, but you can’t go until your time comes!” she said.

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“In truth, I never expected to live so long, but I am thankful I have still got my mind and can communicate, talk to people, read, watch TV, all those things.

“I see other elderly people who are not so lucky that way and I am just grateful for what I have.”

She likes classical music, is fond of poetry, and always enjoys visits from family and friends.

She has eight nieces and nephews, and one sister still alive, aged 86.

Staff at Foxgrove, High Road East, said Mrs Samways, who has lived at the home since 2007, never grumbled and was an inspiration to everyone around her.