The Chronicle

Centenaria­n takes 100 laps around the sun

- RHYLEA MILLAR

BUTTERCREA­M frosting, balloons and being surrounded by family are just some things that make birthday celebratio­ns special.

And while Joan Potter turned the big 100 last Friday, this year was a little bit different to most.

With Sydney still in lockdown, it meant one of the centenaria­n’s five children could not be there to help her celebrate the big milestone.

While Mrs Potter admits it meant her birthday was bitterswee­t, her family who could be here made sure it was still one to remember.

The great, great grandmothe­r received bright bouquets and a papal blessing from the Pope, along with letters from the Queen and Prime Minister, among others.

Her second youngest daughter Bernadette Madden said her parents moved to Toowoomba 61 years ago, and they had been active members of the community, before her father John Potter passed away in 1990.

“Mum was one of three children and would have had hard times going through the war as a young child,” Ms Madden said.

“She is a beautiful sewist, , knitted everything we wore and was always a good cook, but the main thing for me was that mum was always there when we got home.

“When we got older, she helped teach boys at St Mary’s school who were struggling, to read.”

During her lifetime, Mrs Potter has seen 20 Prime Ministers, 23 State Premiers and eight Popes.

In addition to raising five children, she is also a grandmothe­r of 10, great grandmothe­r of six and great, great grandmothe­r of six.

Celebratio­ns included a family lunch and mass which was held at Mrs Potter’s home.

 ?? Picture: Nev Madsen ?? BIRTHDAY BASH: Toowoomba resident Joan Potter recently turned 100. Despite being separated from family who are in lockdown in Sydney, Mrs Potter still celebrated with family members in style.
Picture: Nev Madsen BIRTHDAY BASH: Toowoomba resident Joan Potter recently turned 100. Despite being separated from family who are in lockdown in Sydney, Mrs Potter still celebrated with family members in style.

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