A century of caring

Published on 11 January 2019

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Marjorie Taylor had a hundred reasons to smile yesterday (Thursday 10 January).

The Eltham great-grandmother and community stalwart celebrated her 100th birthday party at home, surrounded by family and friends – and even had a visit from Nillumbik Shire Council Mayor Karen Egan.

Cr Egan gave her a framed letter, flowers and the good wishes of all the Councillors. 

Mrs Taylor also received birthday cards from the Queen and the Governor-General of Australia.

Cr Egan said Nillumbik had one of the highest life expectancy rates in Victoria and she expected many more to reach the three digit milestone.

“Huge congratulations to Mrs Taylor – she is a shining example of ageing positively,” Cr Egan said.

Mrs Taylor was born in Footscray in 1919. She ran her own hairdressing salon in Melbourne during World War II, before she married Benjamin Taylor, a former Shire Councillor, and moved to Eltham.

The sprightly centenarian, who has lived in her home for 73 years, said a lot had changed in the Shire over the decades.

“It was rather lovely, we used to wear long dresses with hats and gloves,” she said. “There was a general store that sold everything, even jodhpurs.”

During her lifetime, Qantas and Vegemite were founded in the early 1920's, TV started in 1956, Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared in 1967 - and Marjorie also lived through the Great Depression and the Vietnam War.

“I’ve been happy. It’s been a wonderful life. There’s no big deal about turning 100 really,” she said. “One thing though, I’ve never been bored!”

She certainly hasn’t. When her four children – now aged in their 60’s and 70’s – were growing up, she cut their hair, sewed their clothes and helped out at their schools.

Over the years Marjorie volunteered at St Margaret’s Anglican Church in Eltham, Anglicare, Link, Foodshare and a host of other community groups.

She supported a person with a disability for many years and also took in children from the now defunct St John’s Children’s home.

Council is holding a Positive Ageing information Session at the Hurstbridge Community Hub on Friday 8 February from 10.30am-12.30pm. This is one of a series of sessions Council is running to assist older residents and their families in Understanding My Aged Care and making informed decisions that best suit their needs.