These high-spirited Kiama oldies have proved age is just a number.
Blue Haven retirement village in Kiama came alive with music, joy and laughter as the unofficial “100-year-old club”- and club aspirants – gathered to celebrate International Old Persons Day yesterday.
Gerringong 102-year-old Bev Sherwood was one of the oldest members present but also one of the liveliest.
“It’s great, I was very excited to come down here today,” she said.
Ms Sherwood socialised with everyone but was particularly happy to have met 93-year-old George Robertson.
“The best thing about coming down today was that I got to meet George,” she said. “But I think he’s much too young for me, he’s only 93.”
Ms Sherwood’s outlook towards life is inspirational to many, and her love for fitness even puts some youngsters to shame.
“I go to the gym twice a week and I’ve recently started lawn bowling again,” she said.
Blue Haven resident Alvin Manning was another one in the triple-figure club, having celebrated his 101st birthday recently.
His advice to those who aspire to live as long as him is to “stay warm and stay vertical”.
Kiama’s George Robertson recently lost his wife of 71 years.
He sat opposite a vacant chair with his wife’s smiling photo placed on it to compensate for her absence and to make sure she was included in the celebrations.
“It’s a great event, I have lots of friends here today,” he said.
“I often come here, and my mates and I play bingo or carpet bowls. It’s quite fun.”
Another Kiama resident Thelma Allman, who has a significant birthday approaching, was ecstatic to be celebrating the centenarians.
“I will be 90 soon, my siblings are all in their late nineties and I’m the youngest of the five,” she said. “I will also get there.”
Kiama Mayor Neil Reilly said the event was not only open to the “100 club” but anyone who’s reached a great age.
“Sometimes the older generation is the invisible generation and it’s good to be here with them and serving them for a change, they’ve been serving us all of our lives,” he said.
Kiama MP Gareth Ward said Kiama’s beauty was owed not just to the spectacular scenery but also the people who had been living there for decades.
“We’ve seen a change in the Kiama community over the last few years but one of the things that has stayed the same is the warmth and generosity of spirit and you can see that in this room,” Mr Ward said.
5th Oct 2022