Search

East Ender Henry Abraham marks 102nd birthday on chicken soup

PUBLISHED: 20:50 11 March 2013 | UPDATED: 20:50 11 March 2013

Henry Abraham celebrates 102nd birthday

Henry Abraham celebrates 102nd birthday

Archant

Henry Abraham has just turned 102 and keeps going on chicken soup he makes himself and sometimes popping out for pie’n’mash.

He didn’t even retire from his job as a skilled print engraver until he was 82—and still takes the bus to do his weekly shopping down Whitechapel, heaving groceries back to his house off the Roman Road in London’s East End.

“I am trying to keep my independence,” he insists. “I clean the house and cook—mostly chicken soup, three or four dinners at a time and put them in the freezer for the week. The shopping is a bit heavy, but I manage.”

He pops every week on the bus to a pensioners’ club at St Mathias community centre run by Neighbours in Poplar, who threw a 102nd birthday bash for him.

“I take life day by day,” the philosophical centenarian tells you. “I’ve lost some control of my legs due to wear and tear over the years, but I still get around on the bus and like to be independent.

“I realise as I get older that I’m wearing out more.”

Yet his recollections are as sharp as anyone half his age. Henry was in a wartime reserved occupation as a security engraver, yet volunteered for dangerous fire-watch duty at night on City rooftops during the height of the Blitz.

But his best memory is the day he wed his teenage sweetheart Elizabeth at Stepney’s East London Central Synagogue in Rectory Square in 1935. They were married 65 years. She died 12 years ago aged 87.

His family of nephews and nieces took him to a Turkish restaurant in Mare Street to celebrate—but he wasn’t impressed.

“It was a bit greasy,” he confided. “I’d sooner have my pie’n’mash.”

Latest East London News Stories

32 minutes ago

Optician director Jayesh Maru has seen his way to the ancient mountain-top Inca capital of Machu Picchu and has found his way back to east London.

13:36

Children have spent four years researching the life of a pupil at their school more than 100 years ago who was later awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously after being killed in the First World War.

09:54

Small businesses occupying railway arches in east London facing crippling rent rises as much as 350 per cent have been promised a tenants’ charter to safeguard their trading.

09:00

The indie/folk band Bon Iver will close the second All Points East festival with a headline gig in Victoria Park on Sunday June 2.

Yesterday, 18:00

Live TV cameras are going behind the scenes at the Royal London Hospital to record how surgeons operate.

Yesterday, 15:41

A serving East London police officer in the has been found guilty of allowing laundered money to be held in his bank account.

Yesterday, 07:00

NHS staff at hospitals across east London are almost twice as likely to be victims of abuse as the national average, according to the results of an England-wide healthcare survey.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Seafarers past and present fell silent in Tower Hamlets this morning to remember those killed and lost in war, commemorating a century since Armistice Day.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now