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Grace reaches 100

From the Oxford Mail:

A Charlbury woman celebrated her 100th birthday with a street party for the whole town.

Charlbury Memorial Hall was packed out with hundreds of residents young and old on Monday, as Grace Fredericks blew out her birthday cake candles. There were displays of gymnastics from local children, live music and a Punch and Judy show. Dancing to a folk band went on until late in the evening.

Born in Shanghai, Miss Fredericks later moved to England, where she took a place at Oxford University to read history. She went on to become a teacher of English and history, specialising in the classics. She moved to Charlbury in the 1970s, when Diana Cooper first got to know her as a neighbour.

Mrs Cooper said: "She and her two sisters took the place of grandparents both for my children and lots of others locally. They have always taken an interest in promoting children and families."

The 100-year-old, whose interests include painting, pottery and reading, organised Monday's party herself, with the intention of bringing the whole community together. She requested that instead of presents, people made donations towards the memorial hall.

Mrs Cooper said: "We call her Amazing Grace. She is a very wise and kind person, much loved by the whole village."

Richard Fairhurst · Thu 4 Oct 2007, 10:11 · Link

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