Celebrating life, 100 years and counting

By Laura Briggs

With a complete century of health and happiness, Shepparton’s Peg Edwards has celebrated a major milestone.

The 100th birthday celebration held at the Tarcoola Activity Centre yesterday had Ms Edwards surrounded by about 50 of her closest friends and family.

Ms Edwards was born on September 19, 1918, in Warnambool to Frank and Clarice Pollock.

As the oldest of three children including brother Jack and sister Shirley, Ms Edwards enjoyed her childhood growing up in Redcliffs where her parents started a fruit block in the soldier settlement scheme.

After completing four years of university, Ms Edwards began her career as a nurse in 1935. She then moved 700km south where she pursued nursing at Ballarat Base Hospital.

In 1940, she attended a blind date where she met the love of her life — Eric Edwards.

Mr Edwards and herself married in 1947 before returning to Redcliffs where they followed in the footsteps of her parents, purchasing their own fruit block that they successfully ran for 25 years.

The pair welcomed their first and only child, John Edwards, into the world in 1949.

In 1974 the pair sold up and retired in Moonta Bay.

With their son having grown up and raising three of his own children in Shepparton at the time, along with Mr Edwards’ health deteriorating, the couple decided to pick up and move to Shepparton.

The pair spent happy years together alongside their son and grandchildren in Shepparton before Mr Edwards died in 1999.

Since then Mrs Edwards has stayed strong physically and mentally and today remains as sharp as a pin — living independently up until May this year.

‘‘A lot of people say they meet her and she says ‘How’s Naomi?’ their daughter.’’

‘‘She just has a great memory for names, for children and keeping up with what they’re up to,’’ Mr Edwards said.

Ms Edwards said people often asked what her secret to living a long life without missing a beat was to which she was unsure.

But regardless of how she got there Mr Edwards said he was delighted that his mother was still going strong and enjoying the celebration of her life with plenty of laughs among friends and family as they spent time together and revisited memories of the past.

‘‘Mum’s had a good innings and it’s good that she can still enjoy it.’’

Ms Edwards said reaching 100 was a significant achievement but her family would always remain her greatest achievement in life.

‘‘It’s the good, happy family years that have meant the most to me,’’ she said.

Ms Edwards said the gathering made for a lovely 100th birthday.

‘‘Today has been marvellous. I never expected anything like this and I never ever thought I’d live to 100.’’

She said the letter she received from the Queen, along with letters from the Prime Minister, the Governor of Victoria and the Deputy Prime Minister congratulating her on her milestone had all been hung on her bedroom wall at Shepparton Villages Hakea Lodge where she has spent the past six months.