Food skill built over a cen­tury

FAM­ILY CEL­E­BRATES 100TH

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Ali­son Bald­ing

‘‘ She did an up­side-down straw­berry cake and, if you tried it, it would have you lin­ing up to­mor­row for more.

– John Slee­man

FAM­ILY will be on hand to help celebrate Irene Slee­man’s 100th birth­day to­day.

A pri­vate party will be held in her room at the Our Lady of Con­so­la­tion Rooty Hill, where she lives, as the fam­ily ma­tri­arch reaches the im­por­tant mile­stone.

Son John Slee­man, 74, said a cen­tury was cer­tainly worth mak­ing a fuss over.

He re­calls the strict reg­i­men his par­ents kept at home as he grew up, and the un­wa­ver­ing sup­port his mum gave him when he pur­sued his pas­sion for ball­room danc­ing as a teenager.

“She’d iron my tails and my white shirts, she loved the fact I was learn­ing ball­room danc­ing,” Mr Slee­man said.

Mr Slee­man fondly re­calls his mum’s cook­ing tal­ents.

“She worked in the restau­rants at the Hy­dro Ma­jes­tic Ho­tel and Taronga Zoo,” Mr Slee­man said. “She did an up­side-down straw­berry cake and, if you tried it, it would have you lin­ing up to­mor­row for more.”

Mr Slee­man said money was tight grow­ing up but food was al­ways a fea­ture.

“At Christ­mas I would get some­thing I needed for school and some socks un­der the tree but Christ­mas lunch would in­clude ev­ery­thing,” he said.

Mr Slee­man said his mum’s poor health, in­clud­ing de­men­tia, makes the mile­stone a won­der­ful achieve­ment.

“It is def­i­nitely about cel­e­brat­ing her birth­day and her life,” he said.

Are you cel­e­brat­ing a mile­stone? Face­book.com/ mt­druitt­stan­dard

Pic­ture: PHILLIP ROGERS

Irene Gla­dys Slee­man will celebrate her 100th birth­day to­day.

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