Special day for a special lady on her 100th birthday

ALERT AND 100: Hazel Ridgway celebrates her 100th birthday. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN
ALERT AND 100: Hazel Ridgway celebrates her 100th birthday. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

HER three girls were always dressed immaculately.

Whatever Princess Elizabeth or Princess Margaret wore, Hazel Ridgway would head straight to her needle and thread and replicate the garments for her daughters, Colleen, Lorraine and Rozanna.

"Then we would have to get our photo taken every year in the clothes she made us," eldest daughter Colleen Mammarella said.

Hazel this week celebrated her 100th birthday and with family and friends around her, it was a day to remember.

Growing up, the girls described their mother as "the best".

"She was beautiful; the best mum possible," Mrs Mammarella said.

"She was always strict, but fair."

Youngest daughter Rozanna Tolhurst said her mother grew up in Gunnedah, but after meeting her first husband Cecil Blake, she moved to Walcha and raised their three girls.

"Dad was in the Air Force so we moved around a lot, but eventually settled in the western suburbs of Sydney," Mrs Tolhurst said.

After Mr Blake died at 63, Hazel met Harry Ridgway who she later married.

The couple then moved to the town of Maclean where Hazel worked in a Scottish shop until she was 90 years old.

At 95 years of age, she went into Mareeba Aged Care where she has been since.

Middle daughter Lorraine, who lives on the Gold Coast, visits her mother weekly to look after her.

With nine grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren, it was no surprise that the halls of Mareeba were a flurry of activity on Tuesday as they all gathered to celebrate Hazel's special day.

Topics:  100th birthday maclean

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