At our Alton-based residential care home, The Lawn, resident Frederick Bowpitt (known as Bill) had a lovely day marking his milestone 100th birthday. Celebrating his Centenarian Day, Bill enjoyed a packed day of celebrations. They started with him receiving his commemorative telegram from the charity’s Royal Patron, HRH The Queen and a COVID-safe visit from his son, Graham.
The Lawn Care Home Team made sure Bill’s birthday was one to remember with cards, gifts, celebrations and a special lunch of his favourite meal – roast lamb. This was followed by a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’, topped off with a delicious birthday cake, handmade by the care home’s talented chef.
Bill grew up in London, moving to Alton 31 years ago. He married Helen in Perivale, Middlesex in 1947 and has a son, Graham, three grandchildren – Daniel, Joel and Hannah – and six Great Grandchildren, Noah, Alex, Wren, Jessie, Harry and Lucy-Claire.
Bill said: “My favourite memory is of marrying Helen, I loved everything about her. I have a lovely family, I’m very lucky. I’m so very proud of each and every one of them, and love nothing more than seeing Graham. I really enjoy spending time with him.”
Bill spent his career working as a Buyer for Metal Box Company, which made plain and decorated tins for fruit and vegetables. Bill continued: “I was a Buyer, which meant I bought tin sheets and sold them to be used for tin cans. I started this job in 1937 and did it for all of my life. Of course, I did do national service for six years as well.”
For his National Service, Bill was stationed in India at the Royal Indian War Office Selection Board where he assessed India soldiers for office training.
Green fingered Bill was a member of the former Royal National Rose Society and still enjoys gardening. He used to grow flowers and vegetables for local shows and in the 60s, travelled far and wide to display at different horticultural events. He added: “I have always enjoyed growing roses and have won many trophies and medals for my blooms.”
Bill’s son, Graham, joined the celebrations and visited his Dad on his special day in the visiting room at The Lawn. The room is COVID-safe and has a Perspex, floor to ceiling wall separating the residents from visitors. It is equipped with an intercom system so everyone was able to hear each other clearly and enjoy chatting and catching up.
Talking about his special 100th Birthday celebrations, Bill continued: “I had a great day, even with the COVID visiting restrictions. Alina, the team and all my friends at the care home made sure I had a day to remember.”
Bill, who has been a resident at The Lawn for five years and is a much-loved member of the Friends of the Elderly family, added: “Many things have changed in my lifetime. When I was born, the world was just coming out of the Spanish Flu Pandemic. I would never have thought we’d be coming out of another one a hundred years on.
“I’m so truly grateful that everyone at The Lawn gave me a wonderful day. They are all so kind, nothing is too much trouble. They always make the residents feel well looked after, safe and happy. They are a great bunch.”
Alina Guta, the Manager at The Lawn added: “All the Care Home Team wanted Bill to have fabulous 100th birthday celebrations. He’s very funny and has a wicked, dry sense of humour, he’s great company and fun to be around. He’s also one of our most academic residents, he’s a computer wizard and has his own set-up in his room. He keeps himself very busy with education and research. If you need an answer to a question, Bill is the person to go to.”