Eileen’s own cen­tury

Central Leader - - NEWS -

The cel­e­bra­tions will be twofold for Eileen Sul­li­van this Christ­mas. She turns 100 on De­cem­ber 25.

The Mt Roskill res­i­dent was born in Kings­land in 1913 and later lived in Buck­ley Rd, Ep­som, for 69 years be­fore mov­ing to the Gracedale rest home.

She has de­vel­oped de­men­tia in re­cent years but at age 72 she wrote a let­ter to her chil­dren to tell them about her life.

In it she re­calls her early mem­o­ries in­clud­ing one un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent with a horse.

‘‘I was help­ing my fa­ther to move a cow. A Mr Web­ber was com­ing down the road with his horse and sledge so they sug­gested I get a ride home on the sledge.

‘‘The old man took off and I wasn’t hold­ing on. The next minute I landed with a thump on the road.

‘‘I’m sure he

didn’t miss me un­til the end of his jour­ney. I just got up, said noth­ing, and walked home with dad and the cow,’’ she wrote.

At 14 she left school and started work pick­ing to­bacco on a farm in River­head.

She mar­ried her hus­band Thom in 1933 and they had six chil­dren.

Liv­ing through two world wars and the de­pres­sion meant she saw some tough times, her grand­daugh­ter Donna Sul­li­van says.

‘‘She’d never re­ally had much to her­self.

‘‘So when my dad was born she said she was so happy be­cause she fi­nally had some­thing that was hers.’’

Mrs Sul­li­van stuck close to home for most of her life and was a keen gar­dener.

The grand­mother of 11 and great-grand­mother of 17 is cel­e­brat­ing with a morn­ing tea on Christ­mas Day.

Happy birth­day: Eileen Sul­li­van cel­e­brates her 100th birth­day on De­cem­ber 25 with fam­ily, in­clud­ing her 79-year-old son Barry, right.

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