To say Mernda resident Olive Robinson has seen a raft of changes to the Australia way of life in her lifetime is an understatement.
The 100-year-old celebrated her milestone birthday on Thursday, with all the usual centenarian fanfare – congratulatory messages from the Queen, the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the Premier and the Victorian Governor.
It was a far cry from growing up in Corryong alongside eight siblings, where she rode her horse to school each day.
Ms Robinson, ironiclly, was born in Olive Street, Albury, but was actually named after one of her mother’s best friends.
As Ms Robinson described it, she has lived ‘all over the place’ in her 100 years, following her late husband whose job was to connect electricity to homes.
Together, they had 10 children, before he passed away at the age of 54.
Ms Robinson is is now surrounded by 26 grandchildren and 45 great-grandchildren and who were all in attendance at their loved one’s big birthday celebration on Sunday.
“I couldn’t have had a party if my 100th birthday was last year, so I’m glad we are able to all get together,” she said.
“I haven’t seen one of my sons in almost two years, and I am happy to see him, he’s staying with me while he’s in town.”
Ms Robinson has lived in Mernda since 1981, when it was a rural area, and previously lived in Kinglake.
One of her daughters lives close by if she needs anything but Ms Robinson said she was fit and still able to enjoy living at home, where she often had family visit.
“All of my children are so good, they look after me really well,” she said.
“They help with the house cleaning every week, and one of my daughters calls every morning at 9.15 to make sure I’ve made it out of bed.”
When she is not with her family, Ms Robinson enjoys spending time with the Mernda Senior Citizen Club, attending bingo in Epping, having a bet on the horses and keeping her mind active with regular reading and crosswords.
“I am one of the founding members of the Mernda Senior Citizen group, and now am the last founding member that’s still alive,” she said.
“I love going to bingo on Saturday night. Last Saturday, they even had a bunch of flowers waiting for me where I sit each week for my birthday.”
Ms Robinson said although she had enjoyed all the celebrations with her family, she was looking forward to the conclusion of the party on Sunday evening, when she would be able to relax for a little while.