By Romy Stephens
Social distance requirements due to Covid-19 couldn’t stop Emerald’s Hilda Gregson celebrating her 100th birthday on 24 March.
Mrs Gregson celebrated reaching the big milestone at the Emerald Glades Nursing Home with her daughter Margaret Whiting and son-in-law Roy Whiting.
Ms Whiting said that despite having to keep some distance it was still a “beautiful” day.
“It was really nice, we went the day before and gave her the letter from the Queen, the Governor General and the local member,” Ms Whiting said.
“She was a bit overwhelmed and she still can’t believe she is 100.
“She had a ball, an absolute ball.”
Mrs Gregson first moved to Australia from England when she was 2-years-old. She grew up in Brighton before moving to Emerald at about age 10.
She attended Emerald Primary back when it was only two classes and stayed in the area for about four years.
Mrs Gregson was the eldest of five children. Throughout her life she worked as a house cleaner then as a book worker at Ansett Australia airline group before getting married in 1944.
Ms Whiting described her mother as a “stoic” and “incredible” woman who always puts others first.
“She is always doing things for other people and if you saw her now she’s 100 and she’s helping people younger than us,” she said.
“She’s like a mother hen.
“I don’t think she ever had an enemy she would always put herself out for other people.”
The grandmother of eight and great grandmother of 15 has lived through plenty of hardship, having grown up during the depression and losing her husband when she was about 70 years old.
But Ms Whiting said her mother has always kept a positive outlook on life.
Mrs Gregson has recently moved back to Emerald to be closer to Ms Whiting who also lives in the area.