Eileen’s own century
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.