Hetty Tauber who has lived at Jewish Care’s Vi & John Ruben’s House in Redbridge for the past 14 years, and attended Jewish Care’s Redbridge Community Centre for many years prior to moving into the home has celebrated her centenary at the home with friends and family.
Commenting on the celebrations to mark her 100th birthday, Hetty says turning 100 has been one of her happiest moments because she saw family from across the world come together for the day: “I was so proud to see so many members of my family come together yesterday to celebrate my birthday including family members who travelled from abroad and who I haven’t seen for years. It was also wonderful to celebrate with the lovely and caring staff at Vi & John’s on my birthday.”
Hetty was born in the East End of London on 18th April 1916 and was one of 11 children. Times were hard when she was growing up and Hetty left school at 14 to help support her family.
Hetty says, “I had lots of different jobs. For a while I was a fur finisher and then when my husband and I moved to Upton Park, we set up a stall near the market selling clothes and offering alterations.”
She married her husband Lou Tauber in 1937 and they were married for 68 years until he passed away. He was also a resident at Vi & John Ruben’s House. Hetty is a very proud mother of two, grandmother of four and great grandmother of 8, with a 9th expected imminently.
Looking back, Hetty says that the national event that had the biggest impact on her life was The Queen’s Coronation, “It was such a happy time with wonderful street parties and dancing and food.” She also says that Margaret Thatcher is one of her heroes, “A very clever lady and the best Prime Minister.”
When she was asked whether young people have it easier today, Hetty agrees, pointing out that when she was younger there were no washing machines to make life easier. As to whether she feels that people have respect for older people, she says, “Not everyone respects older people but everyone who works at Vi & John’s has so much respect for us.”
Her secret to a long life, Hetty adds: “You have to keep working, keep your mind occupied and be careful about what you eat!”
“Even when I arrived at Vi & John’s I wanted to keep busy so began knitting scarves, berets and baby blankets. We set up a stall in the reception to sell my creations to visitors and all the money raised was given to the home to support its activities.”