Her first job at 14 years old was gruelling 12-hour shifts at Tates Timber Yard.
Kate Latus, who is now a resident residing at our Cottingham Manor Care Home, was independent up until she turned 99 years old and worked tirelessly her whole life, juggling up to three jobs at a time and even volunteering for charity throughout her eighties.
She recently marked her milestone birthday, December 30, and received a card from the King.
Joanne Golden, activities and events lead at Cottingham Manor Care Home, said: “Kate is supported by her loving daughter June who visits every day, and the bond they share is incredible. Kate is an intelligent lady with quick wit.
“She is a kind, genuine and lovely lady who is family orientated and has taught so many of us here at Cottingham Manor about the true meaning of kindness, compassion, loyalty and friendship.”
With the help of her daughter June, Kate, also known as Kitty, has written her life story which Hull Live had printed in the local paper. In it, she describes the many hardships she overcame and the love for her family.
In her own words, Kate writes: “I was born in Milton Grove, Subway Street, off Hessle Road, to very caring and loving parents. There was eight of us in the family. I often wonder how they managed to feed us.
“At five years old, I went to West Dock Avenue Primary School. My brother took me. He would get mad with me as I would not let him go until the bell went. From there, I went to juniors and then big school which I loved.
“On our summer holidays, we would walk to Pickering Park with a bottle of water, bread, jam, and a half penny which we sometimes ate before we got there.
“Enjoyed every minute, left school at 14 years old and got my first job at Tates Timber Yard where I worked from 4am to 4pm like a donkey for a penny an hour. Left Tates and I went to Britannia Laundry 8am to 6pm for 2p an hour. On my Saturday half day off, I cleaned offices for two shillings.
“Out of my two shillings, I bought myself a Raleigh bike, two pound two shillings, one shilling a week. That bike was my pleasure. For quite a while, my friend and I used to ride to Little Switzerland Hessle Foreshore. Every night we’d push our bikes up cliff then ride it down, come home worn out. That was my pleasure until I left laundry and went to Ostlers Bakehouse, got more money and worked 50 to 60 hours a week.
“Met Ron at a party at the Duke of Cumberland Ferriby. Fell for him straight away. Went out for two years then married. Went to live with Ron’s as there were no houses after the war. Stayed two years plus had Glyn there, but had to leave as I was having June. I went to my sister’s where I had June.
“Eventually got a house but only had a table and four chairs to put in it. That is when I took on three-plus jobs to furnish it. Did those until Glyn and June left school. After leaving those jobs I went to Paisley Street School as a cleaner.
“I retired from there after 20 years. Did voluntary work at Hull Royal Infirmary for WWS and Red Cross pushing a sweet trolley around the ward and serving on the tea bar. Two times a week, I did that for 20 years into my eighties and got a gold medal for long service.
“Last of all, I would like to give the fam a big, big thank you for the wonderful care they gave me when my knees broke up. June and Tony who could not give me any more care if they had tried. Calling them out in the middle of the night more times I can mention and having to stay the night. Coming every day without fail to make sure I got a hot meal and a shower.”