Century maker who is staying on the move

February 4, 2011
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Healthy attitude: Jack Vardy  continues to lead an independent life

Healthy attitude: Jack Vardy continues to lead an independent life

About to turn 100, Jack Vardy still looks after his own Leeds home in Alwoodley, does the gardening and takes regular trips to London.

Mr Vardy, who has lived in Leeds since 1970, attributes his longevity to healthy ancestry and the care of his late wife.

"The reason I've lived so long are the genes I inherited and the Jean I married."

Other than being slightly shaky on his feet, he says he is in rude health.

He is grateful for good genes and a good Jean, his late wife

"The only problem with getting older is I can't remember people's names." He is grateful for the support of his devoted daughter Elaine, who cooks for him on most evenings.

Born in London's East End, Mr Vardy grew up in a tiny flat with his parents and five siblings. He went to school in Shoreditch and won a scholarship to Queen Mary College, where he studied physics.

"When I left in 1932 it was exactly the same situation as we have now. I couldn't get a job for a year, everyone was out of work."

Initially working for a communications company, he moved on to the Patent Office.

He married Jean in 1945 and they had two children.

Mr Vardy now has five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

To celebrate his Hebrew birthday, Mr Vardy will read Haftorah at Beth Hamidrash Hagadol Synagogue tomorrow, where there will be a celebratory kiddush.

He plans another celebration at the New North London Synagogue, where he attends festival services, on his actual birthday, which falls on February 27.

    Last updated: 10:18am, February 4 2011