Peninsula Villages residents Doris Wills, Hazel Draper and Allen Badman have joined one of Australia’s fastest growing clubs, bringing in 2021 as newly minted centenarians.
This new year saw a total of nine centenarians welcome 2021 at Peninsula Villages, with the three newest additions joining Biddy (103), George (102), Dorothy, Joy, Phyllis and Edna (101) to all make up the ‘100 club’.
Despite the past year having been more challenging than most in recent times – especially for the elderly community in aged care – the ‘100 club’ celebrated the holiday season in style, joining in the festive activities which included socially distanced Santa photos, celebratory lunches in each of the residences and a live performance from ukulele group the Wandering Minstrels.
With the holiday celebrations now winding down, Doris and Hazel enjoy taking time to reflect on their extraordinary lives and how much the world has changed over the course of 100 years.
“Life was much simpler for us when William and I were raising our two children – technology was nowhere near as advanced, with just the radio and odd ‘talking picture’ as entertainment,” shared Hazel.
“Time together was spent playing games and enjoying each other’s company. Some of my fondest memories are of our holidays on the Hawkesbury River, swimming and fishing with the family,” she continued.
Doris shared her insights into how the expectations of young people have changed dramatically since she was a girl.
“In the lead up to World War II, times were really difficult for many families and so I left school at 14 to help look after my younger sisters at home,” said Doris.
“I never returned to school as supporting the family took precedence, so instead I went to work at the GPO in Sydney as a typist and stenographer where I was crowned the Mail Branch Queen at a ball they held,” she reminisced.
Peninsula Villages Chief Executive Officer, Shane Neaves said that there are several factors contributing to more residents reaching their 100th birthday.
“It’s wonderful to welcome Allen, Doris and Hazel to the club,” said Shane.
“We are seeing many more residents reach this milestone than we did 15 to 20 years ago due to advances in medical technology, more personalised treatment options and a subsequent improvement in the practise of medicine itself.
“In addition, the Peninsula Villages team takes a wholistic approach to health and wellness through a resident-centred activities program that includes movement classes, music therapy and social opportunities aimed at improving quality of life,” he explained.
When asked the secret to a long and happy life, Doris and Hazel agree that not sweating the small stuff is high on the list.
“Ninety percent of the things you worry about won’t even happen – it’s a waste of time and energy. Just focus on the now and enjoy every moment with those you love,” they shared.