Rose celebrates century of life

CASINO'S Rose Whitney celebrated her 100th birthday at the weekend surrounded by the people she loves the most – her only child Margaret, her two grandchildren and five great grandchildren, as well as a host of other family and friends.

Mrs Whitney doesn't actually turn 100 until tomorrow, but she decided it wouldn't hurt to cut the cake a few days early if it meant she could spend the day with her family, who live out of the area.

Now a resident of St Michael's Hostel, Mrs Whitney grew up at Kippenduff, south-west of Casino, where her parents Thomas and Mary Cowley had a dairy farm.

At just seven years old, she enrolled as a boarder at St Mary's, Casino, and remembers travelling on the train back home from school just once a term. She would catch the train in Casino and alight at Myrtle Creek.

Mrs Whitney married Alf in 1936, after which the couple took over the family farm at Kippenduff, where Mrs Whitney also ran the telephone exchange and post office.

She moved to Casino in the late 1950s and soon became involved in charity work.

Mrs Whitney can remember visiting the aged residents at St Michael's when the nursing home first opened.

“We used to get afternoon tea for the residents every Tuesday,” she said smiling.

“Now I'm a resident here.”

On top of her charity work, Mrs Whitney loved to play the piano and enjoyed travelling – she has been all around Australia and New Zealand.

When asked the secret to her long and mostly healthy life, Mrs Whitney said: “Hard work – that's as good a reason as any.”

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