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‘Dear Joan, happy 100th birthday!’

Archway resident with ‘wicked sense of humour’ celebrates milestone, as she backs the NHS and insists she isn’t scared of coronavirus

01 May, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Joan Steele opening birthday cards – and her letter from the Queen – at Cheverton Lodge

AS one of its residents turned 100 years old yesterday (Thursday) an Islington care home was full of laughter.

Joan Steele, who lives at Cheverton Lodge in Archway, was beaming after having her hair specially done by one of the nurses as she celebrated reaching the century milestone.

Described by care home manager Earl Elliott as having a “wicked sense of humour”, she shared her birthday with Captain Tom Moore, the Second World War veteran who has shot to fame after raising more than £30million for the NHS by walking around his Yorkshire garden 100 times.

Ms Steele said: “Yes I’ve seen him walking around with his push frame. It seems a bit much that you have to do that to make money for the NHS. Why can’t people just give it anyway?”

Ms Steele told how she joined the Royal Signals during the war. “I was sending messages all hush hush,” she said.

“The war was pretty awful to be honest.”

Asked what she believes is the secret of a long life, Ms Steele said: “I wouldn’t tell you that, it is a secret.”

But she did give a hint when she said that never getting married and being bogged down with a man “could” have helped her.

She added: “You should all just enjoy yourselves. You can’t predict what is going to happen, you have to take life as it comes.

“Do the best you can and please others so you have a jolly time to remember, like I am today.”

In the morning Ms Steele opened cards which included birthday greetings from her family, friends and, of course, the Queen.

Asked what she thinks of the coronavirus, Ms Steele said: “It doesn’t scare me. You can only take precautions as best you can and hope for luck. Life is full of luck isn’t it? You might be unlucky and get it or you might not.

“Just don’t do anything daft.”

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