Fire extinguisher at hand, Roving Edna turned 95
EDNA Fowler has had some memorable birthdays with the Roving Rubies Red Hatters, and her 95th was no exception.
Group founder Marlene Klintworth stood by with the fire extinguisher when the candles were lit ... just in case.
The Roving Rubies now celebrate with giant light-decorated numbers and bubbles to blow as well as candles at monthly birthday lunches at Central Coast Leagues Club because, as Marlene says, "we can at our age".
But Edna's birthday is always something special, and having hit the front page in 2016 when the group threw her a "bikini birthday party", she was more than happy with this year's more formal affair.
"They really turned it on ... we'll see what they do for my 100th!" Edna laughed.
Long dresses and tiaras were the order of the day, and attendees sang songs from the 1924 hit parade.
"It's surprising how many knew the words to If You Knew Suzie," Marlene said, adding that of course they changed the name to Edna.
"Edna is an icon for us all," Marlene said, highlighting the many activities their talented eldest member is still involved in.
A former florist both at Wentworthville in Sydney and on the Coast, Edna was also an award-winning cake decorator, and only gave up four months ago ... although she does have one last order to fill for a great grandchild's 21st.
With two children, five grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren at last count, Edna said if she doesn't bake more cakes, at least she's still hand-making cards (another of her sidelines), which she now creates just for friends and family.
She continues to do beautiful smocking and donates pinafores to the hospital for newborns and special white dresses for stillborn babies. "I used to get upset about that, but now I think about the mothers, and it's something special we can do for them," she said.
Although she has had some time off due to balance problems recently, Edna is eager to get back to playing bowls at Ettalong, where she has been a member for "donkey's years".
"It's the competition, but it's also lovely to go and sit and have morning tea and play a game and then have lunch," she said.
"You don't play with the same people all the time, so there's always someone different to talk to and it's a lovely day out and good exercise."
Edna and her late husband Selby were 53 when they arrived on the Central Coast, ostensibly to retire, but Edna said she believed keeping occupied was what has kept her so spirited and healthy.
"I really think it's because I haven't sat around - I've always played some sort of sport; I do all my own cooking, housework and gardening .... I've always kept busy," she said.
The Roving Rubies Red Hatters group is now in its 14th year and has more than 100 members ranging in age from 48 to 95, but Marlene said they always welcome new recruits, knowing it is hard to make new friends as you get older.
For more, phone Marlene on 0412 760725 or email rovingrubies @optusnet.com.au.