A Sanctuary Care home resident in Wanstead is celebrating a milestone birthday today.
Celebrating 100 years
Surrounded by loved ones and residents, Edna Irene Pooles will be rejoicing her 100th with a traditional tea party today at Forest Dene Residential Care Home in Hermon Hill, where she has lived for the past two years.
Born in Poplar on Monday 14 May 1917, Edna grew up with her three siblings – Sylvia, Gladys and Ronnie – and parents Pet and Minnie Hayday.
Growing up and attending school in the local area it wasn’t long until the birthday girl crossed paths with the love of her life at the age of 14 in 1931. Out on a bike ride, Edna met Harry Pooles and the pair instantly hit it off.
Inseparable from day one, Edna and Harry got married four years after meeting when Edna was 18 years old. The pair not only embarked on a happy marriage together, but also a toe-tapping career.
Both musically talented, Edna joined Harry’s band and the pair would tour together with Harry playing the piano and Edna performing beautiful vocals.
During the Second World War the music touring had to take a backseat as Harry was called to serve in the RAF, while Edna worked as an ambulance driver through the war. However, as Edna was such an excellent cook she spent more time cooking for her colleagues than she did manning an ambulance.
Starting a family
After the war and staying in the Wanstead area, the pair went onto have three children together, David, Jackie and Martin – sadly Martin, who too was a talented musician like his parents, passed away at the age of 18, which was a tragic loss for the family of five.
The Poole family has since blossomed into five generations with six grandchildren, Michelle, Julie, Hayley, Kim, Kerry and Christopher, nine great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.
Many fond memories
Edna’s daughter Jackie said: “Mum has always been there for me and has done all that she can by us, I am so pleased that so many generations have had the privilege of meeting her.
“I have so many fond memories with my mother – too many to count and celebrating her 100th birthday is another one to add to the very long list.”
In her later years, Edna supported Jackie’s career in fitness where she led a string of exercise and dance classes for over thirty years. Edna made many friends with the ladies that attended the sessions and was even voted the ‘best tea maker in town’.
Jackie continued: “The most significant memories I look back on with mum is how she always supported the family – whether it was being there for us, our children or helping with every day duties, she was there and we’ve always relied on her.”
The Sanctuary Care home’s manager Renae Dixon added: “Edna is such a lovely and kind-hearted lady – she has the warmest of smiles and can light up any room. It’s wonderful to celebrate such a wonderful birthday with her loved ones.”