Elsie Hale who lives at Dougherty Villa turns 101 on Wednesday.
Elsie Hale who lives at Dougherty Villa turns 101 on Wednesday. Adam Hourigan

Elsie going strong at 101

TAKE it from a centurion; it doesn't feel too much different being 100 or 101, but it's worth a celebration regardless.

Elsie Hale should know, as she is celebrating her 101st birthday today.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Elsie claims that she hasn't got any secrets to her longevity.

"I've just lived a normal life," she said.

Today Elsie will enjoy her day with her husband Tom, who lives in Bonalbo, and daughter Gayle at her Minnie Water home.

Elsie said she still enjoys walking through the corridors of her home at Dougherty Villa, but things could have been very different after an accident she had when she was eight years old.

"My sister was told to go down a hole where there was a lot of glass bottles that had been broken, so mum sang out to her and told her to go down and have a look if there were any hen eggs there," she remembers.

"She wouldn't go, she was two years older than me, so big hearted me went down the hole, and slid down where all the jagged bottles were, and cut my leg all down the side."

It was a precarious journey from Ramornie Station to the hospital in Grafton, involving a boat and a motorbike, but Elsie made it to hospital.

"I was there for two days, and the doctor did what they could do," she said.

"He sent me back home, and told my mum that I would never walk again."

Elsie's mum helped her learn how to walk again, and was soon back at the hospital.

"She took me back to the doctor, and he sat down and cried," she said. "He couldn't believe that I could walk, and I've been walking for 93 years."

After 101 years, Elsie's advice for a happy life is to "just live your own life".

"Go and enjoy yourself, find some nice work to do," she said. "Do what you can do, and do it well."

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