Tons of fun for Elsie, Jessie

ELSIE Stewart was born the year the Titanic sank, has lived through both world wars and the Depression.

But her greatest achievement was raising her five sons.

“They all turned out well,” the 100-year-old said at her birthday cele-brations on Saturday.

Gathering together for a photo with her boys, aged from 63 to 76, her second youngest son Brian wiped a tear from his mum’s eye.

Mrs Stewart has always been “mum” to her sons, never “mummy”.

“We always heard others call out ‘mummy’ and thought, how weak,” her youngest son Noel said to a chuckling crowd in a speech about his mum.

He remembered as a young boy how she would try to make him eat peas and pumpkin, but never won the game in getting him to eat his veget-ables.

Her long life was a credit to her clean way of living, with no alcohol or cigarettes, Noel believed.

However, one Christmas he did push a glass of champagne into her hand.

“She mixed a few spoons of sugar in it,” he laughed.

Noel’s brother Leon said their parents weren’t for drinking or smoking.

“The sons aren’t the same,” Leon said.

Her health was so good that the great-grandmother lived independently to the age of 97, after which she moved in to the UPA Jindera Hostel.

That was where she celebrated her century, surrounded by more than 50 relatives.

“Without her, none of us would be here,” Noel said of the woman who spent her life caring for her sons, and always tried to hide pumpkin under their potatoes.

Meanwhile, Albury’s Jessie Jackson also reached 100 this month, achieving the milestone on December 2.

But according to the former housewife, now living in the Lutheran Aged Care home, being 100 isn’t much different to being 99.

When son Graham Jackson asked her what it felt like being 100, she answered simply.

“It felt like nothing,” Mrs Jackson said.

“It felt like the same as yesterday.”

Mr Jackson said his mother and father, Roley Jackson, were engaged before World War II when Roley spent three-and-a-half years in Japanese prisoner of war camp Changi as a stretcher bearer.

During that time, Mrs Jackson received just three postcards from her finance.

In recent years the nursing home resident had begun to ail, but when she realised she was close to her 100th birthday she said: “I might hang on for that”.

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