CENTENARIAN: Elizabeth 'Belle' Mowat keeps fit and healthy as she turns 100.
CENTENARIAN: Elizabeth 'Belle' Mowat keeps fit and healthy as she turns 100. Yvonne Gardiner

Birthday girl still fit and well at 100

A LIFESTYLE that focuses on exercising and eating well has paid off for Elizabeth "Belle" Mowat.

She celebrated her 100th birthday on June 4.

Seniors Newspaper caught up with Belle a fortnight before her celebrations, at the Paradise Point Ladies Club where she plays cards and bingo.

In 1918, she was born into the Robe family at Colac in western Victoria.

Belle was the second eldest of six children in the family.

"We lived on a dairy farm and had a good life," she said.

"We just had a lot of fun as kids, such as climbing trees.

"My father died when I was 12. My mother brought us up."

Belle went out to work aged about 16.

"I think I did some housework. I've done a bit of everything really, over the years.

"I was 25 when I got married to Bob in Colac."

Belle and Bob had three children, with the family now extending to four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

She has lived on the Gold Coast for 35 years, after moving from Melbourne.

"My two daughters were up here. I came up to be near them," Belle said.

At the century mark, she says the best thing about turning 100 is being fit and healthy.

"I've been fit all my life really. I've had no operations.

"I still do my housework and live by myself.

"That's the secret, you have to exercise and eat well."

The highlight of Belle's long life has been having her family.

She also enjoys a good social life.

"I've been on a few cruises, around the (Pacific) islands, and New Zealand," she said.

The Labrador resident's 100th birthday party was held at the Surfers Paradise Golf Club.

More Australians are surviving well into old age, thanks mainly to improvements in diet, public health and medical technology.

In the 2016 Census, our population of centenarians - people who live to or beyond 100 years - grew to 3500.

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