Keeping herself busy with arts and crafts, many cups of tea, no alcohol and plenty of chocolate is the key to longevity, according to 104-year-old Helen Gurney.
Born in England in June 4, 1916, Mrs Gurney migrated to Australia in 1952 with her husband George and her three daughters’ Judi London, Trish Hall and Christine Wilcock.
She settled in Swanbourne where her son Tim was born, later moved to Wilson in the City of Canning and then moved to Huntingdale before joining the Buckley Caring Centre where she now resides.
The importance of family, cooking, sewing and the love of dancing are some of the things that Mrs Gurney taught her daughters over the years.
Family continues to be an important part of her life as she has six grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren.
Trish Hall said she and her sisters felt blessed and proud to have a mother that reached the age of 104.
“She has always placed a big importance on family and still does,” she said.
“So, she advises the younger generation to work hard, love and respect your parents.”
“Through her example, we have also learnt how to be kind to those less fortunate than ourselves.”
Even though times were tough back when the war was on, Mrs Gurney said the family stuck together and felt safe.
“With this coronavirus pandemic it’s different – very scary,” she said.
“I’m probably in the safest place, even though I have missed physical contact with my family.
“Times were much safer way back than they are now.”
Apart from meeting and marrying her husband George who has since passed away, some of her best memories throughout her life include going on holidays to a place called Southend on Sea in England, walks in country lanes, picking up blackberries, cobnuts and walnuts and the excitement of migrating to Australia.
“Some of her special moments have been seeing her girls get married, and them having babies,” Ms Hall said.
She now keeps herself busy doing arts and craft and card making with the craft group at Buckley Caring Centre
At Buckley Caring Centre, Mrs Gurney celebrated her birthday with a special morning tea with all residents, where they presented her with a huge birthday cake, ﬂowers and cards.
Later that day her family came to continue the celebrations with a special cake and gifts.
She also received a visit from her local member of parliament, Terry Healy.