Cen­tury of hard work, por­ridge and good reads

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - OLIVIA SHY­ING

ETTA Patrick’s chil­dren never doubted their mother would live to cel­e­brate her 100th birth­day.

The daugh­ter of a plough­man su­per­vised a brick­lay­ing fac­tory dur­ing World War II, milked cows by hand as a child, started a women’s soc­cer team in her teens and moved half­way across the world with her hus­band and chil­dren in the 1950s.

Etta’s willpower and strength of char­ac­ter have never been in doubt. Her daugh­ter, Etta Vale, said her mum had al­ways be “a very strong per­son”. “She has al­ways worked very hard and been there for us.”

Son Wil­liam said for the last 20 years all of Etta’s fam­ily had been “al­most cer­tain” she would make it to 100.

Etta, who now a re­sides at Es­tia Health Ban­nock­burn, cel­e­brated a cen­tury of life sur­rounded by friends and fam­ily on Mon­day.

She was born in the small Scot­tish vil­lage of Muiravon­side in 1917, ex­celled at school and was dux of her class.

Etta be­gan work­ing at a brick­lay­ing fac­tory dur­ing the war years and was quickly pro­moted to su­per­vi­sor.

It was there she started a work soc­cer team and played full-back.

Etta met her hus­band Wil­liam dur­ing the war. They wrote to each other for two years while he served in Africa and were mar­ried within six months of the war end­ing.

The pair’s two chil­dren, who they named af­ter each other, were born in 1948 and the fam­ily em­i­grated to Aus­tralia in 1964.

Etta and Wil­liam lived in Herne Hill for more than 50 years.

Etta, who loves good Scot­tish mu­sic, said leav­ing her broth­ers and sis­ters to live in a for­eign coun­try was very hard. “I don’t drink, I don’t smoke. I’ve worked hard all my life,” she said.

Her se­cret to longevity is eat­ing por­ridge for break­fast every day and read­ing reg­u­lary.

Pic­ture: ALAN BARBER

Etta Patrick cel­e­brates her 100th with her fam­ily.

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