CENTENARIAN: One hundred years and going strong in Bangalow and surrounded by family.
CENTENARIAN: One hundred years and going strong in Bangalow and surrounded by family. Christian Morrow

Never drank, never smoked: Leila marks 100th Birthday

ONE-hundred-year-old Leila Dean was surrounded by family and friends when she celebrated her milestone birthday this week at Feros Village in Bangalow.

Clutching the gold-embossed letter from the Queen, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren helped her blow out the candles.

One of eight children, Leila is also a twin, with 15 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren and counting.

Another of her brothers also lived to 100 years of age, and daughter Janette O'Han said Leila attributed her longevity to the fact she and her centenarian brother never smoked or drank alcohol.

On the night of her birth, Leila's father, Percival Kenyon, was waiting on board a troop ship at the Woolloomooloo docks, due to leave at midnight for the fighting on the Western Front in France.

At that time, if a man had five children he was not allowed to go to war and Percy already had four children.

Right on cue at 11.30pm, Leila and her twin brother were born and Percy, by then a father of six children, was taken off the troop ship at the last minute.

Since then, she's had the nickname 'Lucky Leila'.



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