Celebrating our community’s centenarians: 100-second interview
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Celebrating our community’s centenarians: 100-second interview

This week we meet Rebecca Joseph, who has four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren

Name: Rebecca Joseph

Date of birth: 19 June 1917

Place of birth: East End

Where do you live? How long have you lived there? Where did you live before?

I got married and lived in Willesden. Our house was bombed during the Second World War, and we moved to Belsize Park, where I lived with my husband for most of my married life. After my husband was diagnosed with cancer, we moved to Edgware to be near my family. I then moved to Northwood with my daughter, who cared for me until I moved to Jewish Care’s Princess Alexandra Home two and a half years ago. I live independently, with support from my family.

What was your job before retiring?

We had a retail shop in Leicester Square in the West End, where I worked.

Do you have any siblings?

I was the youngest of seven children, born to immigrant parents who came to England from Poland at a very young age.

Did you marry?

I was happily married for 52 years to Harry Joseph. For my 100th birthday, we had a party at my grandson Lloyd and his wife Abby’s home.

Do you have any children, grandchildren and great grandchildren?

Rebecca in her younger days

I am very close to my daughter Pamela, who visits me almost daily, my grandchildren and great grandchildren.

I have four grandchildren, five great grandchildren and three great, great grandchildren.

What is your happiest memory?

My happiest memory is the wonderful married life I shared with my husband.

What do you consider your greatest or proudest achievement?

Living a long and full family life and, having turned 100 years old this year, seeing all the incredible changes that have taken place in my lifetime.

Who are your heroes of today and yesteryear?

My number one hero is my grandson Lloyd and, having lived through the Second World War, Winston Churchill.

If you were granted one wish to see something in your lifetime, what would it be?

Peace in this troubled world.

Rebecca at her 100th birthday with a cake and a card from Her Majesty the Queen

If you could live your life again would you do anything differently?

I may well have done some things differently. But life is a journey of learning and experience.

If you could offer a piece of advice to youngsters, what would it be?

To try to be good Jewish people, appreciate and love your family and friends – no one is here forever.

The secret for a long life is…
A happy marriage.

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