Still at home at 107


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

A FIERY per­son­al­ity, a love for all things sweet, strong cof­fee and Tia Maria, and a self­de­scribed party girl, Lat­vian­born 107-year-old Vera Liepa has thrown out the rule book on how to live a long life.

Mrs Liepa cel­e­brated her 107th birth­day with a party last week at the fam­ily home in Redcliffe, en­joy­ing vis­its from fam­ily and friends, and shar­ing many happy mem­o­ries.

She is St Ives Home Care’s old­est client liv­ing in her own home.

Vera’s daugh­ter Rasma de­scribed her mum as the life of ev­ery party, who loved good com­pany.

“She plays the piano ac­cor­dion and has a lovely singing voice,” Rasma said.

“She loves danc­ing and singing, es­pe­cially the tango. She’s a flirt and a party an­i­mal. She al­ways made her own clothes, which were very glam­orous.

“Mum and dad made cot­tage cheese and in­tro­duced yo­ghurt to the lo­cal area.

“Dad was a cabinet maker and would build most of our fur­ni­ture.”

Mrs Liepa said she got a good hus­band be­cause she had fun.

“Drink, think, dance and then you get a good hus­band,” Vera Liepa with her daugh­ter Rasma. she said.

Mi­grat­ing with her two chil­dren and hus­band in 1949, the fam­ily be­gan their Aus­tralian life in a mi­grant camp.

Mrs Liepa, who speaks six lan­guages, be­gan learn­ing English there.

“She learnt her first English word: ‘bug­ger’,” Rasma said. “She kept us­ing it ev­ery­where un­til some­one ex­plained it was a swear word.”

As well be­ing com­mit­ted to hav­ing a lit­tle fun, Mrs Liepa, who was still work­ing well into her 80s, said work­ing hard has also been an im­por­tant part of life. “I still work,” she said. “I am still cook­ing and mop­ping and wash­ing, and I’m a good cook. I use my mus­cles and have lots of en­ergy. When you are not work­ing, you are good for noth­ing; a beau­ti­ful job makes you happy.”

Mrs Liepa lives in the fam­ily home in Redcliffe her fam­ily hand-built in the 1950s and is pas­sion­ate about stay­ing at home.

She and her fam­ily have been re­ceiv­ing as­sis­tance on a St Ives Home Care pack­age since 2010.

Mrs Liepa is al­ready look­ing for­ward to 108 and hopes to cel­e­brate at home. She has four grand­chil­dren, seven great grand­chil­dren and one great-great grand­child.

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