Heinz Australia has produced a personalised limited run of baked beans for Whiddon Grafton resident – and keen baked bean enthusiast – Kenneth Weeks for his 110th birthday.
Last week, Kenneth ‘Ken’ Weeks celebrated the mammoth milestone of his 110th birthday and was gifted a letter from King Charles alongside a special limited edition run of 300 personalised cans of baked beans produced and donated by Heinz, featuring Ken’s portrait and a special birthday message.
Whiddon Grafton held a special celebration surrounded by family and friends for Ken on Thursday, October 5 where Heinz delivered Ken’s personalised cans to him and the Whiddon Grafton team.
“It was a perfect day a surprise I wasn’t expecting so much attention, the decorations and food – so much trouble went into putting all of it together for me. I loved the cans of beans and my family were able to take some home with them, I have asked Sandra (Director of Care Services, Whiddon Grafton) to share the rest with all the residents and staff.”
Ken’s adoration for baked beans began in his bachelor days when he sought an easy, filling, and quick meal option. Even after marrying his wife, Jean, they continued to enjoy baked beans when they preferred a simple meal. When Jean passed away, Ken always kept a steady supply of baked beans in his cupboard, admitting that he wasn’t the best cook.
The former electrician and fish and chip shop owner lived independently until he moved into care at Whiddon Grafton shortly before his 105th birthday. Having been gifted regular birthday hampers of Heinz Baked by the care team, Whiddon Chief Executive Chris Mamarelis reached out to Heinz to ask to provide a pallet of baked beans – the food that’s fuelled Ken for 100 years.
Born in 1913 at ‘Braylesford’ in Dovedale Street, Grafton, Ken has been a lifelong resident and a cherished member of the Clarence Valley community, New South Wales. The eldest of five children, Ken met and married his wife Jean in Grafton in 1940 and went on to have two sons, Noel and Ian.
Looking back on his life, Ken fondly recalls running businesses living with his wife and raising his children in Grafton.
“Me dragging them from fishing port to fishing port and looking at different boats as I was building one of my own. Owning my own business and the people I have met over the years.
An active man, Ken swears by walking and climbing stairs to stay fit and agile as he still walks unaided at 110.
“Lead a healthy life, ride your bike or go for a walk read a lot,” Ken advised younger people.
“Work hard and most of all, family is important.”