A globe-trotting Sanctuary Care home resident in North Springfield, Chelmsford has celebrated her milestone birthday this week.
Surrounded by loved ones on her birthday (Monday) and enjoying a resident party today, Joyce Ethelene Elizabeth Jones, who prefers to be known as Sally, has celebrated her 100 years in style at Lyons Court Residential Care Home in Canvey Walk, where she has lived since 2011.
Secrets to reaching 100
When asked her secret to reaching such a wonderful age Sally said: “I’ve always been healthy and sporty. I would always try to cook from scratch and take part in as much sport as possible, mainly cycling, tennis and swimming – and of course I’ve enjoyed chocolate as well, but always in moderation.”
Born on Tuesday 10 April 1917 in Warmer near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, Sally grew up with her three siblings – older siblings Edith and Ada and younger brother Roy – and parents Lily and Donald McKechnie.
A career in teaching
The birthday girl attended the local school Collegiate School in Port Elizabeth and her studies were the foundation for her promising teaching career, where she taught English and commercial subjects, including shorthand and typing.
Before settling down to a career in teaching, Sally had to take yearlong break as she served in the Women’s Army in South Africa during the Second World War.
Following the war, the birthday girl started to work at the Colonial Service in Education in Tabora, Tanzania and on her first day she crossed paths with the love of her life, George Jones, who was also working there as a chief education officer.
Marriage and children
The pair instantly hit it off and married in 1954 when Sally was 37 and they set up their marital home in Ifunda, Tanzania, before eventually coming to the UK and residing in Gidea Park, Romford.
The pair went on to have three children with two daughters Margaret, who lives in Norfolk and Pamela from Springfield, and their youngest Peter, who still lives in Gidea Park. Pamela and Peter were born in Tanzania, while Margaret was born in Manchester.
Looking back over her 100 years, one of the personal highlights, along with raising her family, was when she travelled to Europe on her own in 1951. Sally travelled to various hotspots and also worked in some of the cities she visited, including Edinburgh and Cornwall.
Sally’s daughter Pamela said: “Mum has always been there for me and has done all that she can by us and I am so pleased so many generations in our family has had the privilege of meeting her.
“She is so inspiring and has shared many wonderful stories over the years and it’s fantastic that we are here today celebrating her 100 years – she’s really lived life to the full.”
Four generations on…
The Jones family has now blossomed into four generations with eight grandchildren, Sarah, Judith, Helen, Victoria, Rosalind and Matthew, and five great grandchildren Lydia, Joshua, Ethan, Oscar and Dexter.
The Sanctuary Care home’s activities leader Natalie Csizmazia said: “Sally is a remarkable lady and is very kind and has the warmest smile. It’s wonderful to celebrate such a wonderful birthday with her.”