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Harold Symons celebrates his 100th birthday at Hackney Town Hall's Speaker's Parlour

PUBLISHED: 14:33 14 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:33 14 November 2019

Harold Symons at the Town Hall reception held for his birthday with the Hackney and East London United Synagogue’s religious leader, Rev Naphtali Tiefenbrun and family. Picture: Michael Desmond

Harold Symons at the Town Hall reception held for his birthday with the Hackney and East London United Synagogue's religious leader, Rev Naphtali Tiefenbrun and family. Picture: Michael Desmond

Michael Desmond

Cardinal Pole pupils attended a reception at Hackney Town Hall to celebrate the 100th birthday of their school's former governor Harold Symons.

Harold Symons at the Town Hall reception held for his 100th birthday. Picture: Michael DesmondHarold Symons at the Town Hall reception held for his 100th birthday. Picture: Michael Desmond

The reception was hosted by Deputy Speaker Michael Desmond - who is a member of the Hackney and East London United Synagogue where Harold has been attending since 1945.

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Harold, of Tudor Road, London Fields, was born in Stepney on November 1 1919. He served in the army during World War Two and once he moved to Hackney he started working in the textile industry.

He studied for a history degree in his 60s, which he passed with honours, and stood to be a councillor in Victoria Ward in 2002, but failed to gain a seat.

Deputy Speaker Michael Desmond who organised the 100th birthday celebration reception for Harold Symons, a fellow Hackney and East London United Synagogue, at the town hall.Deputy Speaker Michael Desmond who organised the 100th birthday celebration reception for Harold Symons, a fellow Hackney and East London United Synagogue, at the town hall.

Cllr Desmond said: "Harold's main hobby is reading. He has a photographic memory of dates and can tell anyone who asks dates of battles in the Napoleonic Wars, including the famous battle of Austerlitz, which was, of course, on December 2 1805.

"He is a bachelor, but four years ago was contacted by relatives in Stoke-on-Trent who managed to trace him with the use of the internet and now keep in regular contact with him."

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