MILESTONE: Joan Harrison with one of the many cards she received for her 100th birthday.
MILESTONE: Joan Harrison with one of the many cards she received for her 100th birthday. Adam Hourigan

'GG' makes the most out of joining the 100 club

JOAN Harrison, or GG to her great-grandchildren, isn't exactly happy about turning 100 today, but she's making the most of it with celebrations.

"I've been on my own for so long now, it's all a bit overwhelming," she said.

Mrs Harrison has been enjoying the last few days with a house filled with her kids, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

"They all just turned up," she said.

"I had a very big party last Sunday with all the family plus kids. It's very nice to have them, I don't always see them."

Born in Grafton in 1916, Mrs Harrison was raised on a farm at Marengo between Armidale and Grafton.

"I went to boarding school in Armidale and then went and did training in the Prince Albert in Sydney," she said.

"(I was a nurse) for about five years, and then I got married and went overseas.

"I lived over there for five years in Japan with BCOF, which stands for the British Commonwealth Occupation Force, my husband was in that."

Mrs Harrison and her husband were in Nijimura for five years together.

"It was wonderful really, we had all the help we wanted, life was very easy," she said.

Mrs Harrison came home with their two children and lived in Yamba with her mother until her husband was able to return to Australia.

In the early 1970s the Harrisons moved to Fry St, where Mrs Harrison still lives.

"Then my husband died in '74, and I've been here ever since," she said.

For the last two years, Mrs Harrison's daughter Annette has been living with her.

"When I came up from Sydney, she said I couldn't live with her because she wanted to be independent," Annette said. "She gave her licence up about two years ago."

She added that Mrs Harrison wasn't driving, but still wanted to have her licence.

Mrs Harrison said it nearly broke her heart to hand her licence in.

Having her independence has always been important to Mrs Harrison, who still has friends join her on a weekly basis to play bridge.

"I played bridge, and I did a lot of sport; I played tennis and a bit of golf and a bit of bowls," she said.

Today, Mrs Harrison will be having an afternoon tea with her friends to celebrate her birthday.

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