200 reasons to celebrate
ONE hundred years ago, the Royal Australian Navy was created, King George V reigned as English monarch, and Comedy King took first place at the Melbourne Cup.
It was also the year Edith Paff and Grace Hunter were born.
Family and friends packed the function room at the Baptist Community Service's Maranoa Centre yesterday to congratulate the two Alstonville women on reaching their own centenary.
Despite Mrs Hunter's birthday still being nine days away, the crocheting enthusiast was able to celebrate her milestone early with her fellow centenarian.
Old age has done nothing to Mrs Paff's sharp wit and knack for winning on the horses, as the politically savvy lady loves to spend her time analysing the form guide before placing her well-planned bets each Saturday morning.
“As a person she's always had a great sense of humour and wants to know what's going on,” her son, Colin Paff, said.
“She loves gardening, listening to politics and she loves playing cards.
“It's fantastic. It's due to the love and care that Maranoa give her.”
Mrs Paff was largely raised by her aunt during the Great Depression, before moving to the Northern Rivers when she was 45 years old.
Staff at Maranoa believe Mrs Paff is still as switched on as ever, saying she had a detailed opinion about the Federal Budget announcement two weeks before it even came out after reading the newspaper every morning.
As for secrets for making it this far, Mrs Hunter's family believe activity is the key to a long life.
“She was always walking,” son Wayne Hunter said. “Up until she did her hip six years ago, she was always walking to the train, walking to the bus and walking everywhere. I couldn't keep up with her.
“I can rarely remember her ever being cranky and she would do anything for family. Every holiday she would come down and look after the kids. She was always trying to organise something for us.”
Daughter Wilma McKinnon said: “I feel blessed and very happy she made it this far.”
Mrs Hunter was very impressed with the royal treatment she received.
“Mum was very happy about getting a letter from the Queen for her 100th birthday,” Mrs McKinnon said.