Happy birthday, Kathleen!
When Kathleen Davies celebrated her birthday early at Elizabeth House recently, there was no attempt to cram 104 candles on top of the cake.
The Huntfield Heights resident, who has been visiting council’s Christie Downs positive ageing centre for the past 15 years, turns 104 next week (30 December), but it was fitting she celebrated the occasion early with her “long-lasting friends” at her regular Tuesday Kookaburra Club catch-up.
“Kathleen’s an inspiration to all who come into her life,” says Elena Bowles, who coordinates the club’s program, which emphasises social interaction, friendship and wellbeing.
Kathleen migrated to Australia from England with her husband Tom in 1959, becoming an Australian citizen in the 1960s.
She was a stay-at-home mum and had four children (one surviving), moving to Huntfield Heights in the early 1990s where she still lives today.
She has lived through two world wars and depressions, but says the COVID-19 pandemic has been even tougher because of the social isolation.
An expert at crochet, Kathleen has produced countless tablecloths and doilies in her time, while her interests today include gardening, shopping, going out and meeting people.
“My daughter calls me a social butterfly,” she says.
Her weekly Tuesday visits to Elizabeth House, which she says is “home to her”, sees her joining in the Kookaburra Club’s social activities, exercising, chatting and taking garden walks.
“I check out how the vegies are growing [and] love to hear the birds, it’s very calming,” she says.
Elena says while Kathleen is visually and hearing-impaired, it hasn’t stopped her from having a full and active life.
“She has a great sense of humour and I’m privileged to be in her life every Tuesday,” Elena says.
And the secret to living to 104?
“I was a non-smoker and lived clean,” Kathleen says, while also noting she has good genes—her dad lived to 97.
Here’s wishing Kathleen the happiest of birthdays!