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It’s a special day when you get to blow out the candles on your 103rd birthday cake surrounded by family and friends. Ailsa, from Seasons Caloundra, spent her special day doing just that and she even got to be a celebrity for the day, with Channel 7 News and the local newspaper queueing up for interviews.

A resident of Seasons Caloundra for the past eight years, Ailsa says she feels blessed that both her children live locally, and she is surrounded by a supportive extended family that includes eight grandchildren and many more great-grandchildren.

“I’ve got two children – a girl and a boy – and they’re very good to me, extremely good,” says Ailsa.

“My son lives at Noosa and my daughter lives at Mountain Creek. My daughter comes one week, and my son comes the next – they’re very regular, they never miss a visit to see me.”

It was being close to her family that prompted Ailsa’s move to Seasons.

“I lived at Redcliffe at the time and my daughter thought if I got sick it would be too far away for her to keep coming and going, so she persuaded me to come up here. I did have a few health issues after that, so I was lucky that I came, and I like it now it’s quite good.”

When asked what it feels like to have passed her century, Ailsa says that she feels like she’s the same person she always was – just a bit slower these days.

“It just feels normal – like I’m 25, no different! Except you can’t do much, that’s the worst part of it. I’d like to be able to do the things I used to be able to do. I’m lucky in a way because I can get around a little bit, even though I can’t enjoy outings anymore.”

Ailsa spent her early years in Gympie and married her late husband of 57 years during World War Two.

“My husband was in the army for six years, so he was coming and going, and we got married at that time. I stayed at home with my parents for a while until the war finished and then we moved around a bit.

“I worked in an office in Gympie for about 10 years. We never travelled – my husband was a homebody and so was I, and the war kind of took away the idea of travelling around.”

Ailsa says one of her greatest achievements and joys was playing lawn bowls.

“I used to play a lot of lawn bowls and there was a competition on in Caboolture District – Ladies Singles – and I won that. I loved playing bowls. I have streams of medals from bowls and if I could I would play again, but I can’t do that anymore. My daughter plays but she says she’ll never be as good as Mum!”

Ailsa says she now spends her time relaxing with DVDs that the Seasons and Envigor staff members drop off to her and she enjoys spending time with her family when they pop in to see her.

“I feel like I’m a part of Seasons now. It’s a good place to be. The girls bring me over DVDs and I watch TV even though I can’t see very well. The staff are good, everything is good. I get treated very well!”

“I’ve had a good life; I have a good family. They look after me like nobody’s business!”

When asked if she has any advice for the younger generation, Ailsa says that times are different these days compared to when she was young.

“They’re different altogether, the young ones – I couldn’t tell them what to do as they live in a different time than what we were used to. They have to work it out for themselves.”

But when it comes to life advice, Ailsa told the media contingent present on her special day that the secret to a happy life is to eat more cake. Now that’s life advice I think people of all ages can take on board!

Watch Ailsa’s birthday celebrations on 7 News Sunshine Coast:

 

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Belinda Peters
Belinda brings more than 17 years experience in journalism to her role as Seasons Digital Content Writer. As our blog editor, Belinda will take the confusion out of aged care with entertaining and informative stories from across the aged care industry and our Seasons communities.