Name: Ian Rodin
Born: 28 Sept 1912
Birth place: Stepney
• Where do you live, how long have you lived there and where did you live before?
I was born in Stepney and lived there until I moved to Ilford. Since September 2012 I’ve been at Jewish Care’s Vi & John Rubens House.
• What was your profession before retirement?
I left school and followed my father into his barrel making business. He was one of the few Jewish coopers, the traditional trades being cabinet makers and tailors. We manufactured barrels, which were used a lot at the time for storing and transporting liquids and foods.
• Did you marry?
I met my wife Sara, by chance, at an army dance.
• Do you have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren?
I have a son called Sam, two grandsons, David and Michael, and three great grandchildren.
• What’s your happiest memory?
Being happily married to Sara for 62 years.
• What do you consider to be your greatest or proudest achievement?
Trying to make the world a better place by not eating meat (Ian has been a vegetarian for 50 years). I don’t think it’s necessary.
• If you were granted one wish to see something in your lifetime, what would it be?
I never had the opportunity to visit Israel. I would love to see how they’ve managed to make the desert bloom.
• If you could live your life again would you do anything differently?
No, nothing at all.
• Do today’s young people have it easy compared to when you were growing up?
Yes, much easier. There was much poverty in my days, especially in the East End of London where I grew up.
• If you could offer a piece of advice to today’s youngsters today, what would it be?
Be kind to the world; everybody can help bring about peace. Listen to other people’s point of view.
• Are older people given the respect they deserve in Britain today?
I don’t know about that, but everyone of any age should be respected as everyone can contribute to society.
• The secret for a long life is… Being kind to the world will bring us all peace. Animals have feelings too. We should respect them.
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