Five years ago Mineola resident Beatrice Hubbard had a party thrown for her. Last Tuesday she had another one, one that she didn’t think she would ever make.
“Who’d have ever thought that I would have had another party?” she remarked Friday after receiving a proclamation from Mineola , village trustee George Durham and former deputy mayor John DaVanzo commemorating her 105h birthday
DaVanzo, who recently , is no stranger with Hubbard, who had her as a teacher at the old Mineola High School, which now serves as the current building.
“I had him in school,” Hubbard said. “He was always into everything. I knew him and we’ve been friends ever since. He was very much into football. We got along beautifully.”
DaVanzo is a frequent visitor to Hubbard’s apartment, she said. “He comes to see me real often” and to bring red roses. “A lot of my students still think of me after all these years.”
Many of Hubbard’s students remember her fondly, and she has amassed a lot of them over the 32 years that she spent as a business teacher and as chairperson of the department.
“Nice people, wonderful children,” Hubbard said recalling her years and a recent visit to the school. “One of the ladies I met, her daughter was there and I had a tour and the daughter said ‘oh, I hate it.’ And then the girl said ‘I wish Ms. Hubbard was my girl’s teacher’ and she praised me for being a good teacher.
Her job interview was a simple one she said, recalling that the then superintendent asked her in and said “we like you and we hope that you like us as much as we like you.” She ended up staying for the next three decades because “they asked me to stay, I stayed. I couldn’t stay any longer, I’m retired. I haven’t been back in a long time. I’m so glad that I taught (there) the students were just so nice.”
She even sees similarities between today’s conditions and when she first began her career: “the banks were closed the first year I went teaching and now I’m going through another depression,” she said.
Born in what she describes as “a little town” in upstate New York known as Coxsackie, Hubbard attended college in Troy and then taught in western New York for 3 years before coming to Mineola. “I came down there and I taught about 30 years at Mineola... and I’ve been here ever since. I never moved from Mineola High School; I always taught here.”
She never married but “I’ve had loads and loads of kids cause I was in the high school” as well as “lots of friends.”
The only member of her immediate family remaining is her nephew, David Waters, who lives in Washington, D.C. and who made the trip with his wife up for her party. “They came up here and we had 25 people here,” Hubbard said. “He’s so good to me.”
In addition to a table full of birthday cards as well as proclamations from the village and office of , Hubbard served as grand marshal in one of the village parade’s last year, being brought up Jericho Turnpike in a horse-drawn carriage.
“I rode right from the beginning to the end of the parade - I was honored,” she said. “Everybody along the road and they waved - beautiful.”
Though she acknowledges that there is “not too much” time left, “I enjoy it,” she said. “I’m very lucky, even though I went to take a nap I’m up every day and (have) lots of friends.”