Home | Specialty Focus | Qld resident celebrates 107th birthday
Mavis Radcliffe (left) and her daughter, Beverley O'Malley (right). Picture: Supplied/Lutheran Services

Qld resident celebrates 107th birthday

One of Queensland's oldest aged-care residents blew out 107 candles (not really!) on Thursday, surrounded by family and aged care staff.

Lutheran Services' Zion Aged Care resident Mavis Radcliffe, was born in 1917 in the middle of World War I.

According to her birth certificate, she was born in Brisbane on May 18, but she grew up believing her birthday was on the 16th.

So, for 107 years, she celebrated with her friends and family on May 16.

Ms Radcliffe's daughter Beverley O'Malley said her mother grew up like many others at the time, knowing hardship and few luxuries.

"As the sixth of seven children, the family lived at Petrie Terrace in Brisbane’s inner city with a horse in the backyard," Mrs O’Malley said.

"Mum made many friends at Petrie Terrace School, and at the Lutheran Church, she attended.

"Despite being an academic student, she left school at 14 to help support her widowed mother and siblings during the Depression."

Mavis Radcliffe as a young woman. Picture: Supplied/Lutheran Services

While working in a fish shop in Brisbane's CBD, she met her future husband, Walter Radcliffe, a plumber.

"They married in 1941 and bought a home in Fairfield where they raised me and my sister Gloria," Ms O'Malley said.

"Much of mum’s life was dedicated to the unpaid role she played as receptionist for the family’s plumbing business that was run from our home.

"In her 50s she enjoyed some prized independence when she achieved her driver’s licence and continued driving well into her 90s."

Ms Radcliffe said she credited her longevity to her strong German genes, with her uncle reaching 102 and her eldest sister to 97.

"At 107, mum is still able to have a laugh and has always had a keen sense of humour," Mrs O’Malley said.

After a fall on her 97th birthday, Ms Radcliffe moved from the family home to Zion Aged Care, where she formed many friendships with residents and staff.

Zion Aged Care service manager Bell Chung said staff loved helping families celebrate such milestones.

"These birthdays are really something to be marked as an amazing achievement," Ms Chung said.

"There’s so much history there, and we love to celebrate our beautiful residents."

Ms Radcliffe has two daughters, five grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren.

Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the top stories in our weekly newsletter Sign up now

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *