Edward Minghella, the founder of the world-renowned Minghella ice cream company, is celebrating his 100th birthday today (Monday).
Over the last 80 years of living on the Island, Edward has conducted work for countless charities and promoted civic causes, with his efforts landing him the title of Freeman of Ryde. He was also the town’s Deputy Mayor and is a Life President of the Chamber of Commerce.
Born in Coatbridge, Glasgow in 1921, his mother was British born and his father Antonio hailed from Cassino in southern Italy. Edward was the eldest of 4 children and moved with his family from Glasgow to Paris until his father died in 1926, leading the family to move once more to Italy.
Edward went on to serve in World War II as a member of the Royal Army Medical Corps, returning to Portsmouth after the campaign, where he settled and married Gloria in St Mary’s Church at the age of 19.
He invested his demob into building a small ice cream factory at the back of the family’s cafe, and continues to expand as the popularity of his ice cream soared, and winning countless prizes in the process.
Edward’s family also went on to great success, with his eldest daughter, Gioia, running the ice cream business over many years and serving as the Island’s High Sherriff in 2019. The late Anthony Minghella became known internationally for his work as a writer and film director and mentioned the Island in his Oscar’s acceptance speech in 1997. Anthony was made the first Freeman of the Isle of Wight.
Edana, Loretta, and Dominic are also well-known Islanders, and later this year, Loretta will become the first woman Master of Clare College, Cambridge. Edana is a famous jazz and blues singer and Dominic is a television producer and screenwriter.
For his birthday, Edward has setup a JustGiving page to support a cause close to his heart: Save the Children. You can donate here.