After a lifetime spent travelling and working as a nurse, Grace Greenwood, settled down in Abbeyfield Kent’s supported home, Northwood Road and celebrated her centenary birthday on Saturday 9th April, with a party alongside family and friends at the Whitstable home.
“I was born in Burma in 1916, I grew up there and had my first nursing job there.” Grace says, “Once I left school, I saw an advert recruiting nurses to work in India, I volunteered to go and that was where I met my first husband.
“After the war was over and the troops were sent home, my husband and I had separated so I took a boat to England. My first job here was a school matron, I absolutely hated it, it was very domestic and that did not suit me!
“I remarried and had two children before taking a job at Norwood Hospital as a staff nurse, where I was promoted to Night Sister. I’ve always cared for people and I suppose I do it here at Northwood Road with the residents too.
“After my second husband passed away, I bought a bungalow with a big garden, it was one of my best achievements as I crafted that garden from scratch, I have always been very creative.”
Grace sold her bungalow and spent time living in France with her son, before returning in 2003. She moved into her first Abbeyfield home in 2007, in Wallington before moving to Kent to be closer to her son. Grace moved into Northwood Road in 2012, where she has now lived for four years.
Grace is incredibly creative and despite being 100-years-old, she spends the majority of her time making collages, sketching, crocheting, flower arranging and writing poetry, she even wrote a poem about turning 100. So what does she think is the secret to a long healthy life?
“I don’t think it is in our hands. Life is given to us and we must use it to the best of our ability. It is no good being miserable, you must laugh!”