Centenarian shares sweet secret to living long full life
THE secret to a long life, according to Florence Atkinson, is to always eat honey.
And after turning 100 last week, Florence should know.
The Yeppoon retiree at Capricorn Gardens celebrated the huge milestone with family and friends on Wednesday, receiving countless letters of congratulations from the Queen, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and John Howard to name a few.
"Our father would buy honey by the gallon and we had bread and honey for breakfast, lunch and dinner," Florence recalled.
"I think I've had a glorious life, it's been wonderful, definitely. It's been interesting and hard, there was no easy cuts. I was well looked after."
Born on August 12, 1915, Florence is the last of a pioneering family in the Wowan area.
Her father Charles George Young was influential in cotton growing and dairy farming, as well as introducing advanced methods of cotton growing.
Florence had two sisters, Jessica and Isabell, and has three children of her own, Judith Moore and Terry and Keith Atkinson.
All of her children attended her birthday celebrations, which included a special sing-along concert and luncheon for Florence.
Judith said her mother was always a free spirit who did things her way.
"She was knocking of heaven's door about eight weeks ago with pneumonia, she was gravely ill, but she said she wanted to make 100, and she overcame it," Judith said.
"She is a survivor, she lived through the early days and has lived through two world wars, four British monarchs and 27 prime ministers.
"So a lot has happened in history throughout her life.
"Her father was a political figure and first elected to council in the Banana Shire, he was elected for council there, so she's always been passionate about politics as well."
Skilled in embroidery and with a love of Australian poetry, Florence agreed that life was much more simple in earlier times.
"Father would take us swimming in the creek, he was a lifesaver too," she said.
"There's things I would've liked to have done like play golf, I wish I could've played golf."
Judith said her mother's lasting legacy was inspiring her three children to achieve.
"We had a very carefree and secure childhood, because she was well educated, it was very important to her to make sure we all had a good education too," Judith said.
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga dropped in to personally deliver Florence some flowers and a card, a highlight of the day.