Former Valley resident reaches triple figures

By JULIA ILES

A FORMER Grafton woman celebrated her 100th birthday last week.

Kathleen Holmes, now living in Gympie, said she did not know the secret to long life.

"Listen sweetheart, when you find out, you tell me," she said.

Rex Holmes, Mrs Holmes' youngest son, attributes his mother's longevity to her kind personality.

"She shows care and love to everyone and I think she's been rewarded with good health," he said.

Friends, family and the local MP attended Mrs Holmes' party on September 1, which attracted more than 100 well-wishers.

"It was such a great event which brought the family together," Mr Holmes said.

"People came from everywhere, including her nephew who flew in from Darwin."

Mrs Holmes grew up on a farm in Glen Innes before marrying her now late husband, Keith.

For a time they lived on her family's sheep farm before moving to South Grafton with their six children.

Mrs Holmes lived in the Clarence Valley from 1950 to 1988.

She was involved with the hospital auxiliary and the Country Women's Association (CWA), of which she is a life member.

Mrs Holmes has lived through both world wars and the Depression.

She has 16 grand children and 32 great-grandchildren.

Despite being wheelchair-bound ? she has worn out both of her artificial knees ? Mrs Holmes manages to keep active through hydro fitness and needlework.

Her favourite activity is spending time with her loved ones.

Fifteen years ago Mrs Holmes moved to Gympie, where she lived in a in a self-contained unit.

In 2001 she moved into the Winston House Retirement Centre, where she still resides.



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