Still at home at 107
PARTY GIRL VERA THREW OUT THE RULE BOOK
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.