Q&A: Edna Lee Jones, the 99-year-old who is still dancing

PUBLISHED: 08:20 30 August 2017

Simone Sharpe

Edna Lee Jones, Jamaican immigrant and Stratford resident since 1958, recently celebrated her 99th birthday. The former nurse is passionate about her borough and is a well-known member of the community, in part because of her regular appearences at the Tea Dance at Stratford Town Hall.

What’s your connection with the borough?

I have been living in Stratford since 1958 when I moved here from Jamaica. I worked as an auxillary nurse at Wanstead Hospital until I was 60 and I enjoyed working there very much because of the people I got to meet.

What’s the best thing about working or living in the borough?

The people. I have so many friends and the reason I stay is because this is my home now.

What one thing would you change?

I would like people here to have more respect for each other. There are problems with respect from all sections of society - black, white, asian. There’s too much crime and too many people are hurting each other and I wish to God it would stop.

Use three words to describe the area?

Lovely, smashing, carefree.

Who is the most inspiring person you have ever met?

The mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales. He cares about the old. He cares about the young. He’s a great man and I’ve had the honour of meeting him many times - he always comes to our Tea Dance at Stratford Town Hall and I’ve shook his hand. I even have a picture of him in my living room. I’m not sure whether I’d consider him as my friend - I think I’m too old to be his friend - but I think he is lovely.

What new law would you introduce if you were the prime minister?

I would introduce a law to force everybody to love each other.

If you were the editor of this paper, what issues in the borough would you focus on?

I would focus on the cleanliness of the area. I went out today and I saw too much litter - there was even a bin which had been set on fire. I think the council should do more to make our streets clean so we can be more proud of them.

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