Gran Joan has lived to talk about two world wars
THE MACADAMIA Frail Care Centre celebrated a treasure yesterday. The Mpumalanga home for the aged wished a happy birthday to one of its most loved residents, Joan McCready, who turned 109 and still has recollections of both the world wars.
The centre management described her birthday yesterday as a huge achievement.
Friend and caretaker Sally Mayhew said McCready was a caring woman who was quick-witted and loved by everyone.
“It’s really difficult to portray because she is so amazing. People want to look after her without her asking. She is very generous as well,” she said.
Mayhew said she found McCready to be very inspirational. “I live nearby and I have been visiting her for the past two to three years because I enjoy being with her. She is a wonderful friend.”
The home usually hosts a party for her every year, but this year things were a little quiet as she has grown very frail.
In her heyday, McCready used to be athletic and was a professional ballet dancer, among many other things. In one period of her life, she joined the cast of the Russian Ballet when they performed for a number of years in England, where she was born. McCready even taught ballet for a while.
She was married twice before: first to a doctor, with whom she travelled to many countries, and then to a golfer, who won several tournaments.
McCready’s life in South Africa goes back to the 1950s, when she left her family in Manchester and moved to Joburg with her husband.
Though she has no family in South Africa and none in England that she knows of, McCready gained a family at the home and is quite popular in White River.
Every year, the local paper – The Lowvelder – writes a story on her birthday.
For her 100th birthday in 2005, McCready received letters from the queen of England and Nelson Mandela.
CHERISHED: Joan McCready has celebrated 109 years of life.