World War Two to Justin Bieber: Winifred's seen it all

Winifred Mary Fawcett will celebrate her 100th birthday with her son Brian and daughter Margaret Foster on Sunday at Crowley aged care in Ballina.
Winifred Mary Fawcett will celebrate her 100th birthday with her son Brian and daughter Margaret Foster on Sunday at Crowley aged care in Ballina. Doug Eaton

WINIFRED Fawcett has lived through the great depression, World War II, the explosion of the first hydrogen bomb, man landing on the moon and the rise and fall of Justin Bieber.

The soon-to-be centenarian will celebrate her 100th birthday this Sunday with family and friends at the Crowley care centre in Ballina.

A highlight of the day will be a surprise visit from one of Ms Fawcett's favourite Parramatta Eels players.

Her early birthday presents included a Parramatta jersey signed by the entire team and a hand-written card from club captain Tim Mannah.

The Parramatta Eels are a team Ms Fawcett has avidly supported ever since she first saw a young Peter Sterling play for St Gregory's more than 30 years ago.

For 100 years, Ms Fawcett has managed to avoid alcohol and cigarettes all together- a concept unfathomable to most.

She said the secret to a long life also included drinking at least one litre of water per day and getting plenty of exercise walking.

A good deal of her time has been dedicated to volunteer work for the Ballina hospital auxiliary, Lennox Head catholic church and Crowley nursing home in Ballina.

The world has changed a lot in the last century. Ms Fawcett said she could remember a time the television and gas needed two shillings to operate and the closest thing to a fridge was an ice chest.

Ms Fawcett married her husband Cecil Fawcett at age 32 and was widowed after 34 years of marriage.

Together, they had has three children, nine grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

Ms Fawcett had been engaged previously, but her fiancé never returned from service in World War II.

Ms Fawcett has spent the majority of her life living on the Northern Rivers. Sydney is the further she's travelled to catch Parramatta play in a grand final.

Topics:  ballina birthday centenarian world war two

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