Birthday party number 105

Birthday party number 105

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Seniors Minister Tony Simpson, Graceford facility manager Zofia Graham, Mary Powell and her daughter Delys Cumming celebrated Ms Powell’s 105th birthday.
Seniors Minister Tony Simpson, Graceford facility manager Zofia Graham, Mary Powell and her daughter Delys Cumming celebrated Ms Powell’s 105th birthday.

Byford resident Gwendoline Mary Powell celebrated her 105th birthday last week surrounded by family and friends.

Ms Powell, who now lives at Baptistcare Graceford residential aged care facility, was born on September 2, 1910 in Kidderminster, England to a farming family.

In July 1923 she emigrated to Western Australia with her parents and twin brother William aboard the Ballarat.

The family continued their farming tradition on a dairy property in Bedfordale where it was Ms Powell’s job to transport cream to Armadale railway station by horse and cart.

At the time large trucks were used to carry pipes along Bedfordale Hill Road to the Canning dam, making Ms Powell’s regular journey particularly dangerous.

The family later moved to an orchard in Bedfordale where Ms Powell worked until she married her first husband Gordon Champion in 1933.

The couple lived in Bunbury Road, now South Western Highway, in Armadale with their only child Delys until her husband’s death in 1947.

During WWII Ms Powell belonged to the volunteer air observers corps, which was a group dedicated to looking out for enemy aircraft while working out of a small room at the Armadale town hall.

She later worked in the drapery department at a co-op store in Jull Street until 1964 when she married Percy Powell.

The couple moved to Mundijong in the 1980s but she returned to Armadale following his death.

She moved to Graceford in Byford when she was 100 and according to staff she was actively involved in the gardening projects around the facility only up until recently.

Family, friends, staff and Seniors Minister Tony Simpson celebrated her birthday with a morning tea and presentation from Ms Powell’s daughter.