In a first for Stretton Park Aged Care in Maffra, four of its residents are celebrating major milestone birthdays this year and a special morning tea is being planned to mark the occasion.
With three of its residents turning 100 years old and one notching up 105, Diversional Therapist, Julie Molden, said staff felt honoured to have these centurions in their care.
“We certainly find ourselves celebrating the odd century with a resident in any given year but to have four at once is something very special,” she said.
Norm Moralee celebrated his 100th birthday in April. Born at the home of his grandparents at Oubas Hill in Lancashire, England, the family took advantage of the Australian Farming Scheme and made the long boat trip to South Australian shores in the 1920’s. The family not long moved to Melbourne where Norm completed his schooling and found himself working as a compositor for newspapers. This led to a distinguished career as a printer, journalist and photographer, having once worked for The Gippsland Times.
Legally blind, Flo Pearce’s favourite time of the day is when she is read to in the afternoons. She celebrated her 100th birthday in May and credits her long life to a tough upbringing and “giving back” where she spent 25 years volunteering in Maffra and 75 years in Boisdale, where she grew up.
“Much of my family is in Queensland,” Flo said, “so everyone here at Stretton Park is my family.”
Jean Lestrange is turning 100 years old in August. Born in Heyfield, Jean said fitness was her trick to living long.
“We walked everywhere in those days, simple as that,” she said.
August will be a very exciting month in Jean’s family. Not only is she celebrating a century, but her first great, great grandchild is also due to arrive.
The special year of birthdays at Stretton Park finishes with the 105th celebration of Glad Lascelles in October.
Glad said it took her a while to “get used to being waited on” at Stretton Park.
“Life was simpler in the days when I was growing up,” she said. “We had to do everything ourselves. Life, at times, was pretty tough, but I kept puddling on.”
Glad couldn’t thank Stretton Park staff enough for the quality care she had been given over the past five years that she’s lived there.
“I’ve reached this age because of the way we are all looked after here at Stretton Park,” she said. “They take very good care of us.”
Obviously proud of her mother’s sense of humour, Glad’s youngest daughter, Sally VanEkeren, shared another secret to her mum’s longevity that may just be the trick.
“Red cordial!” Sally said. “Mum always said water was only good for washing socks in.”
The special birthday morning tea will be held at Stretton Park Aged Care on Wednesday 19 June at 10am. Acting Chief Executive Officer, Paul Head will also be attendance.