STRONG LADY: Glad Strong of Wollongbar celebrates her 102nd birthday with her son Reg Strong and her daughter Lorraine Hunt.
STRONG LADY: Glad Strong of Wollongbar celebrates her 102nd birthday with her son Reg Strong and her daughter Lorraine Hunt. Cathy Adams

Turning 102 feels same as turning 80, says centenarian

WOLLONGBAR woman Glad Strong has seen and experienced a lot in her time, but she was all a bit taken aback by all the attention she was given yesterday, when she celebrated her 102nd birthday.

"It doesn't feel any different than when I was 80!" Glad said.

"I didn't think I'd see 100 - or 80 even."

Her secret, she said, was "hard work- no time to worry. Get on with it!"

Born as the youngest of six children, Glad (named Margaret by her biological parents) was adopted out to a German family at three weeks of age.

She was later reunited with her family at 13 and began seeing her biological family regularly once she was in her 20s.

She grew up in Nobby, on the Darling Downs near Toowoomba, until she moved out and left for Murwillumbah at 24.

There she worked in the Murwillumbah pubs until she was married to the "boy next door", Cyril Strong at age 29, and joined his life of dairy farming.

The couple had two children, Lorraine and Reg and moved to the Northern Rivers in the early 1950s where they continued their life of dairy farming.

Following her husband's death in 1972, Glad, the "best cook ever" according to her daughter, worked as the cook at Camp Koinonia, Evans Head, for 20 years.

Having helped her family through many health hurdles, some of them her own (like battling cancer - and winning - at age 75), Glad said she's happy she was still in good health at her age.

"I'm healthy, but my legs just won't hold me up," she said.

"I reckon I've had a hard life, but I don't look at it that way."

The grandmother of three and great-grandmother of three said she's seen a lot of changes in the world over her lifetime.

"If I can remember them all!" she said with a laugh.

"I'm worried about my grandchildren - how are they going to cope with the world?"



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