Maisie Newnan had to learn the importance of independence very early.
The Wodonga resident turned 100 on Wednesday and reflected on some of her fondest memories from the past century.
Born in Hamilton Valley, she was one of five children to Desmond and Violet Sawyer and the family lived in a very basic dwelling with no power or running water.
She attended Lavington Primary School until she was 14 before she got her first job working for a family in Rutherglen to help around the house and with the children.
Maisie's mother died when she was 21 and she took on the care and upbringing of her 10-year-old sister, Judy.
They eventually went up to Moss Vale, along with sister Audrey, to live with their auntie, but Audrey soon joined the army and Maisie and Judy moved to Manly.
Maisie worked as a dry cleaner and then as a hotel cleaner and cook as Judy went to school.
Judy later married and Maisie returned to Albury to live with her brother, Keith, and wife, Ivy, in Lavington.
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Maisie worked at the woollen mills and rode her bike from Lavington, even after night shift.
She met Neville Newnan in 1949 while working in the Singer sewing machine shop and they married in 1952.
Children Christopher and Diane were born in 1952 and 1956, but she was a widow in 1958 after Neville's death.
She took over management of the family property at Bonegilla, but had no means of transport or communication until she later acquired her driver's licence.
When asked what was the secret to living to 100, Maisie swiftly replied "hard work".
"I didn't do much sitting around. There was always wood to cut and cows to milk," she said.
Maisie has five grandchildren and soon to be six great-grandchildren, who love to see her and go for rides on her walker at Westmont Aged Care Services at Baranduda where she has resided for 10 years.
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