22 June 2018
This week, we celebrated the centenary year of our oldest tenant, Les Tarr, with a party at Cherry Barton, near Cowick Lane – an affordable housing scheme owned and managed by Cornerstone for residents over 60 years of age.
The centenarian, whose birthday was on Friday 15th June, received a birthday card from the Queen and was joined in his celebrations by friends, neighbours and several members of the Cornerstone team who have come to know him over the years.
Photo: Our team of painters, including Les’ step-son Graham (centre front), give a special birthday gift to Les – a framed newspaper from the day he was born.
Born in 1918 just before the end of WWI, Les has lived a full life. As a young man, he served in the Royal Artillery in WWII under Major-General Montgomery. Of his time serving in North Africa, he recalls with good humour the relentless sand storms filling his tea with sand!
For much of his life, Les worked as a gas fitter in and around Exeter – cycling for miles across the city each day with his bag of tools, with a patch spanning Haven Banks to Newton St. Cyres, right up until the age of 70.
A long-standing tenant of Cornerstone for nearly 50 years – and almost half his life – Les moved into his present home in the grounds of Cherry Barton soon after it was built, where he has lived happily ever since.
Photo: Les and his wife, Edna, pictured at the opening ceremony of Cherry Barton in October 1969 (Les, 7th to right; Edna, 4th to left).
Les revealed his secret to a long life was being “very lucky”, and credited his achievement to his parents for having “looked after me well.”
Rick Williams, Chief Executive at Cornerstone said, “On behalf of everyone at Cornerstone, I would like to wish Les a very happy 100th birthday. We pride ourselves on being a caring organisation that puts people first. Over the years, Les has come to know several of our staff members well, so we were especially pleased to be able to be part of this important occasion in Les’ life.”