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Determination key to good life for 100-year-old Agnes

Echuca resident Agnes Kotsiakos will celebrate her 100th birthday on Monday.

TRENT HORNEMAN May 2, 2014 3:50am

Agnes Kotsiakos turns 100 on Monday.

Echuca’s Agnes Kotsiakos believes determination is the key to a long life.

Mrs Kotsiakos will celebrate her 100th birthday on Monday.

About 35 family and friends will help her mark the milestone on Sunday.

She moved to Echuca from Melbourne almost 34 years ago, after her husband and his brother traded in their jobs in search of the farming life.

‘‘They were bitten by the farming bug,’’ she said.

Her daughter also lives in the region, teaching at Leitchville, and her son lives in Bendigo.

Mrs Kotsiakos was born in the inner-city suburb of Carlton.

As a child, she recalled the first electric light being installed in her house.

‘‘There used to be brass fittings around the light switches, as well as the guard on the front of the fireplace and on the front door where the postman would deliver letters. It was my job to polish the brass,’’ she said.

After working in a retail store on Burke St, she married and had two children.

‘‘I am a bit sad that we didn’t have more,’’ she said.

‘‘My husband had plans for a family of six or eight, but that soon changed.’’

She is proud of her family, which includes five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Growing up in Carlton, Mrs Kotsiakos loved going to Princes Park to watch her beloved Carlton Football Club play each week.

She has been a member of the Carlton Football Club’s social club for about 50 years.

While these days limited eyesight prevents her from watching much football, Mrs Kotsiakos said she always listened in to Carlton matches on the radio.

‘‘As a family we would go to the football almost every week,’’ she said.

‘‘I liked Big Nick (former captain John Nicholls), Serge Silvagni and Jezza (Alex Jesaulenko).

‘‘I was there when they won their last premiership.’’

As well as a love of football, Mrs Kotsiakos and her husband also enjoyed an active social life.

‘‘My husband, who was an industrial textile chemist, had a lot of mates and we would be quite often out for dinner,’’ she said.

‘‘We were out for dinner in East Melbourne one night when our first grandchild was born.’’

Even now at her Wharparilla Lodge home she enjoys the occasional glass of wine.

Despite a few health setbacks in the past couple of years, Mrs Kotsiakos said motivation and determination were keys to a long life.

‘‘There have been a few battles, but you can’t have it all your own way,’’ she said.

‘‘My mother was determined. She told me that it was important to keep your mind active.

‘‘She said if you don’t use it, it will rust.’’

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