ONE TO REMEMBER: Winifred Jefferies will celebrate her 103rd birthday today at Dougherty Villa. Born and bred at Southgate, Mrs Jefferies said one of her greatest highlights was being special guest at the Grafton High School centenary in 2012 as she is the oldest living former pupil. Photo: Debrah Novak
ONE TO REMEMBER: Winifred Jefferies will celebrate her 103rd birthday today at Dougherty Villa. Born and bred at Southgate, Mrs Jefferies said one of her greatest highlights was being special guest at the Grafton High School centenary in 2012 as she is the oldest living former pupil. Photo: Debrah Novak

Winifred set to celebrate milestone in style

AT the rate she was jumping up out of her chair and whizzing around, promptly picking things up from the floor, recalling facts, voicing opinions and generally defying her 103 years, Wini-fred Jefferies (Chevalley) will take today's birthday celebrations in her stride.

Born at Southgate the year the Titanic sunk, Mrs Jefferies' own voyage through life has been much less dramatic but just as stylish.

A lover of fashion, Mrs Jefferies said she had always tried to ensure she was well presented.

"I like my clothes and jewellery," the well-dressed centenarian said.

"I went to races for 60 years. That was the day to be dressed up. I used to wear fur coats or foxes around my neck, whatever was the fashion of the day."

Even as a resident of Dougherty Villa, the former farm girl adheres to a daily dress code.

"I like to dress myself, I alway put on my shoes and stockings and do my own hairstyling and make-up," she said.

A keen shopper, Mr Jefferies said she heads down town about once a month to have a look at the latest fashions.

"I normally find something. Black Pepper always has nice things. I used to go to all those places once: Vienna Styles, Audeens and Clothes Pegg. Clovellys in Maclean also had lovely clothes," she said.

While her presentation is immaculate, so too is her attitude towards her health.

"I never smoked or had a drink in my life. I exercise in my room every morning and do deep breathing," she said, before demonstrating some moves by whipping her arms up and down while kicking her legs out.

"I'm feeling older because I don't get about as well as used to. I broke my hip about two years ago and that set me back a bit."

Those rather limber legs frequented many dance halls over the years but now it's housie and euchre that Mrs Jefferies enjoys, and the Villa's word game activities.

But while Mrs Jefferies doesn't get out and about like she used to, she remains abreast of what's going on in the world.

"I watch the news every night and love watching Hot Seat Millionaire and the tennis," she said.

"I also enjoy a bit of cricket. I don't like football though. They knock each other out too much."

Mrs Jefferies also keeps up to date with politics but doesn't envy our politicians.

"I wouldn't like to be involved in that," she said.

"They get a very hard time. Whatever one person says the other one is against it."

Mrs Jefferies, who was married to Eric for 67 years and had three children, has since welcomed eight grand children and 16 great grandchildren.

Mrs Jefferies will today mark her birthday with a low-key celebration at the villa with a few family members and share some cake with staff and residents.

"It's good timing as we have a the monthly singing group the Live Wires coming here today," Mrs Jefferies said.

"I might get a verse of Happy Birthday from them."



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