CELEBRATION: Lottie Hurford is celebrating her 107th birthday today. She is pictured here with her octogenarian daughter, Phillis Kerr.
CELEBRATION: Lottie Hurford is celebrating her 107th birthday today. She is pictured here with her octogenarian daughter, Phillis Kerr. Donna Jones

Cricket-loving Lottie batting 107 not out

NO DOUBT about it, Lottie Hurford is a stayer.

She has a lust for life, just won't quit and likes to make the most of every day.

Up until recently she used to play lawn bowls in competition but now she just enjoys the odd social game.

She also loves a game of cards and doing her adult colouring-in.

And, according to daughter Phillis Kerr, the cricket.

"She loves watching the cricket. She's a big fan of Steve Smith. 'Come on Stevie' she says," Phillis said.

But Lottie likes to be a little coy.

"I don't mind it," she says with a mischievous smile.

And today marks Lottie's 107th birthday.

There are big plans to celebrate with a morning tea planned with her family, friends and other residents at Cooinda Aged Care Home where she is now residing.

"I can't wait to see them all," Lottie said.

And there is likely to be a lot of her family there, with family coming from Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Nambour and Brisbane.

From her three children, Lottie now has 12 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, nine great-great-grandchildren and a great-great-great- grandchild.

When going over the numbers with Phillis, Lottie couldn't help but laugh.

"Some of that is news to me!" she said.

Lottie moved into Cooinda in August last year when Phillis took ill and wasn't able to care for her.

"She's been so well looked after here and the staff couldn't be better," Phillis said.

And Lottie is loving it.

"They love her here. They're all friends," Phillis said.

Lottie's best friend is Alice who is 94 and she has the unit just next door.

She's also really close to another old friend and resident in Cooinda, Gertie Pierson, who Lottie says will be 105 on New Year's Day.

"We were bowlers together," Lottie said.

"We're definitely going to go across and see her," Phillis said.

Charlotte Hurford (nee Atham) was born into a life of adversity on New Year's Eve 1909.

"We had a hard childhood," she said when describing her early home life and growing up in a poor family on the farm.

"We sometimes went hungry. And we sometimes went without."

Farming was in her blood and it was only natural that she marry a dairy farmer, Phillip Hurford in 1931, who was to be the love of her life.

Phillis, her second eldest, was in a hurry to arrive, according to Lottie, who said she remembers very clearly giving birth to her on her own, at home on a dark and stormy afternoon in 1936.

She said it was all over in a matter of minutes and was wondering how to deal with the umbilical cord when her husband arrived back home and did the honours.

"It was raining and he didn't hear me calling out for him. Phil happened to come up at the right time," she said.

Lottie has seen some remarkable changes in her lifetime, including working with a horse and plough and using a "Coolgardie safe" before the invention of refrigerators.

During the Second World War, the pair also remember having to use blackout curtains at night, and ration coupons to buy food.

One of the greatest innovations she recalls was when she got an automatic washing machine in 1960.

Lottie says the secret to her longevity is to stay active, work hard and don't drink or smoke.

But Phillis gave the credit to good genes.

"Aunt Lilly (Lottie's eldest sister) was naughty. She drank, she smoked, she laughed and she made it to 100 too," Phillis said.

Gympie Times

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