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Well-loved former teacher celebrates his 100th birthday at The Gables

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A well-loved former teacher from Stowmarket has celebrated his 100th birthday at The Gables in Chatteris. George Akers enjoyed a wonderful birthday with visits from his family, cards and presents including a treasured card from King Charles and Queen Camilla.

Arthur George Akers, who prefers to go by George, was born on 21st April 1923 in his grandparents’ home in a small Lincolnshire hamlet called Shepeau Stow. George’s father worked for the railway and the family moved to March for his father’s work. They lived on Nene Parade and as a young boy he enjoyed making friends at Dartford School. George described those days: “they were the best of times”.

As a youngster, George remembers being given tuppence for a chocolate bar after school and, even though it began to melt, it was precious, and he wouldn’t let anyone take it away from him.

His first job came when war started. He was aged 16 and worked at the County Hall in March, where he met, fell in love with and married Marjorie, his wife of 60 years until she passed away in 2006.

The happy couple moved to Combs Lane in Stowmarket, where George went on to teach English at Stowmarket Middle School and Stowmarket Modern School. To this day, many former pupils remember him with great fondness and respect. George and his late wife are also remembered with great affection by members of Stowmarket Parish Church, where they attended services.

George came to live at The Gables shortly before his 98th birthday and has been active in the home since that time. He loves reading and gardening and has helped with planting hanging baskets and growing tomatoes, sharing his knowledge with residents and staff.

On his birthday itself, George was visited by many generations of his family and the staff at the home celebrated his special day. As well as his cards and presents, George also received a Special 100th Birthday Plaque from Black Swan Care, owners of The Gables Care Home. The plaque was presented by Home Manager, Julie Tyler to a chorus of Happy Birthday and a glass of bubbly.

There was an outpouring of love and special messages on the Gables’ Facebook page for George, with many former pupils wishing him well and passing on their memories: George Akers 100th birthday Facebook post

Lydia Aker said: “Congratulations Mr Akers on your 100th Birthday. Fond memories of you as my English teacher at Stowmarket Modern School and I've still got my Librarian badge! Have a wonderful birthday & enjoy your special day.”

Lesley Groom posted: “…fond memories of you as my English teacher and starting a love of literature and poetry that has endured.”

George’s niece Margaret thanked the home: “My sisters and I would like to thank everyone at The Gables. We had a wonderful day. The staff have been amazing and made George’s 100th birthday a very special one.”