IDA Beard has had two true loves in her long life.
And she says those two loves are the reason for her reaching the fine old age of 100.
Family and gardening are her secrets to a long and happy life.
“I’ve always lived a simple life,” she said.
That might be so but few in her age group could say they had enrolled in a TAFE course when they were 88.
Mrs Beard grew up at Bright and went to school at Wandiligong, before moving to Melbourne and, later, Beechworth.
She completed a nursing course and worked for a year before resigning when she married to follow her dream of being a mother and housewife. She and her husband, George, raised six children
Her son Rex said gardening had always been his mother’s therapy.
“I don’t think there is a garden in Albury that she hasn’t pulled a twig from and planted,” he said.
“It has always been a huge part of her life and the reason for her longevity.
“A couple of years ago, it looked like she wasn’t going to be here but the days kept ticking by and here we are.”
Mrs Beard, who now lives at BUPA, Wodonga, said she was lucky to witness such great inventions as electricity, but was concerned with the direction the world was taking.
“Things used to be quieter and there’s a lot of violence. I don’t know how it will stop or who will stop it,” she said.
“I had a wonderful childhood of freedom.”
Mrs Beard said an exciting part of celebrating a 100th birthday was her letter from the Queen.
“It was the nicest photo I’ve have ever seen of her,” she said.
Yesterday was not only a milestone for Mrs Beard, but also for BUPA — she was the first resident to celebrate a 100th birthday since the home opened in April, 2012.