EUREKA Murray River Gardens Retirement Village’s Nora Thurlow celebrated her 100th birthday last Sunday in fine style, surrounded by family and her many fellow resident friends.

Born on September 26, 1921, at Bumbang, just outside of Robinvale, Nora at the age of 10, came to Mildura to live and attended Mildura Central Primary School.

After completing her years at the Central, Nora was needed at home to help her mother and so she didn’t attend high school and has since spent her entire life living in Mildura.

“I had to leave school at an early age, we had too many kids – mum had nine of us – five girls and four boys − and we had to work to keep the family going,” Nora said.

“There are only three of us left now, a brother and a sister.”

Nora’s father was a shearer and spent many weeks away on sheep stations working, leaving Nora’s mum to look after the family.

“He was away a lot and then he’d come home and Mum would have another baby,” Nora said with a cheeky chuckle.

Nora married and had she had three children – a boy and two girls – and sadly her middle daughter died recently.

Nora’s other children, aged 80 aged 73, are living in Brisbane and therefore were unable to attend her birthday due to COVID border restrictions, instead sending a huge bouquet of beautiful red roses.

The ‘Weekly congratulated Nora on reaching her century, something she looked upon as a milestone.

“Yes it is a milestone, but it doesn’t feel any different to any other birthday!” she said.

“Only this one is a bit more flasher! It’s a lovely party that they have put on for me and the residents.”

Nora was asked what the secret to her longevity was? To which she replied: “I wouldn’t know, nothing in particular, but it might have something to do with hard work,” she said.

“I would take on any work I could get. It didn’t matter how hard it was − picking oranges or grapes, pruning, doing all manual labour and maybe that’s why I’m celebrating my hundredth.

“I didn’t mind work, I liked working hard.

“But really, I’ve just gone merrily along my way through life and here I am today.”

Murray River Gardens’ social club president Trevor Ward said that Nora was a much-loved member of the retirement village community who had fitted in well.

“She plays a very important part in our daily lives, interacting with fellow residents,” he said.
 “She’s not one to hibernate into her room, she likes to take part in the activities and enjoys the company of others very much.”

Trevor said Murray River Gardens retirement village, which is operated by Eureka Group Holdings, prides itself on providing quality and affordable rental accommodation for independent seniors within a comfortable and well managed community environment, something Nora can attest to.

“I’ve been here for five years and it’s been lovely – I have really enjoyed every moment of it,” she said. “And Trevor’s a great help with everything he does for us.”

Guests attending Nora’s birthday party enjoyed a barbecue, with salads, followed by dessert which was prepared by Eureka’s in-house caterer who was ably assisted by some of the social club’s committee members. And after lunch no doubt, once the birthday cake was cut, a slice or two of that was had as well!

The ‘Weekly wishes you a happy birthday Nora and may there be many more to come.

By JOHN DOOLEY.