Beatty celebrates her 105th birthday

By Manny Robinson

BEATTY ORWELL, a former mayoress and councillor of Tower Hamlets, celebrated her 105th birthday at home with family and friends and staff and volunteers from Jewish Care’s Brenner Stepney Community Centre.

Beatty Orwell celebrates her 105th birthday with family, friends and volunteers from Jewish Care’s Brenner Stepney Community Centre

Beatty, the oldest surviving member of the former Brady Girls’ Club, was born in 1917 and is also the oldest member of the Labour Party.

She received flowers and a letter from the Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, and well wishes from former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

She was also delighted to receive her 105th birthday card from Her Majesty the Queen, together with flowers and gifts from friends, staff, volunteers and members of the Community Centre.

As a birthday surprise, the Friends of Stepney Committee organised music and entertainment with her favourite entertainer from the centre, Ian Leigh.

“It was truly a great party,” says Beatty’s daughter, June Legg, “Mum had such an amazing birthday. Ian sang all her favourite songs and she was singing along with him.

“As a family we can’t tell you how much we appreciate the efforts of the Committee in making this a truly memorable day and one which will always live in our hearts.”

Beatty is supported by Jewish Care’s services and is very close to her loving family who take turns to stay with her. In more recent times, she has received Jewish Care’s Meals on Wheels, befriending and outreach services and the centre volunteers organised her birthday entertainer at home. 

Beatty joined Jewish Care’s Brenner Stepney Community Centre in her 80s. The centre is at the heart of the community and the only centre supporting the last remaining members of the older Jewish community in the East End. She has many close friends who are members, staff and volunteers who are in touch though Beatty is no longer able to physically get there.

Janet Foster who chairs The Friends of Stepney Committee and has known Beatty all her life, said: “Beatty and her devoted family are truly inspirational and all her many friends send their love to her on her very special day. It was truly a wonderful day for the most remarkable woman I am ever likely to meet in my life, so I feel very privileged.”

Beatty celebrated her birthday at home this year, where she lives with the ever-loving support of her three children and extended family which includes 12 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.

She has been involved in local politics for as long as she can remember and was elected as a local councillor in Tower Hamlets. In 1966, Beatty’s husband, John, served as mayor of Tower Hamlets and the two used their political influences to help shape the local area.



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