Heathcote resident Anne Douglas celebrated her 100th birthday on Australia day.By Bronwyn Beyers
Australia Day was a special one for Heathcote Hostel with resident Anne Douglas celebrating her 100th birthday.
Family and friends joined hostel residents and staff to help Mrs Douglas celebrate her centenary in true Aussie fashion with green and gold balloons, lamingtons and snowballs, beer, champagne punch and the odd glass of Guinness.
Mrs Douglas was born Annie Eileen Blackmore on January 26, 1913 in Melbourne and spent her earliest years growing up in Port Melbourne during the tough times of World War I and the post-war depression.
During World War II, Mrs Douglas served in the Women’s Land Army, a role her son Robert said she took seriously.
‘‘They did all the work the men had done before they went off to war and it was hard for them,’’ Mr Douglas said.
‘‘It was only last year that the Land Army was finally recognised and the government issued Mum with a special service medal.
‘‘She’s wearing it proudly today.
‘‘It’s good that she was recognised for it because the Land Army did a lot for the country.’’
Mrs Douglas’ granddaughter Sharee Douglas said her nanna was an inspiration to everyone.
‘‘You bring true meaning to ‘strong, hard-working, independent woman’,’’ she said.
‘‘You are a survivor and through your eyes you have lived through two world wars, the bombing of Pearl Harbour, you have worked for the Land Army through World War II and had good laughs in friendship. You have seen the invention of television and all electric items, the moon landing, Phar Lap and many Melbourne Cups, the millennium, the first black president of the United States, the first female Australian prime minister.
‘‘You have travelled throughout Europe and New Zealand, and have many stories to tell.
‘‘You have opened your home to many boarders and made true friendships.’’
Mrs Douglas raised her son as a single mother and spent many years working as a postwoman.
‘‘She did a lot of kilometres on her bicycle delivering the mail,’’ Mr Douglas said.
Heathcote Health chief executive Dan Douglass congratulated Mrs Douglas on her centenary and said he not only admired the achievement, but respected the long life she had experienced and all she had witnessed in that time.
‘‘It’s a terrific achievement and if we could all reach 100 we’d be happy with that,’’ Mr Douglass said.
‘‘Anne is already a special person on a number of counts, but I think being born on Australia Day, that’s a very special thing in itself.’’
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