Honoured guests pay birthday visit
GLADYS Gerchow believes it was the power of a simple thank-you note that led to the Queensland Governor and his wife visiting her home earlier this month.
The long-time Buderim resident passed her 100th birthday in June, an achievement that earned her letters from the Queen, the Prime Minister and Governor Paul de Jersey.
Ms Gerchow said when she received the letters, she sat down at her kitchen table and wrote each a heartfelt appreciation letter.
"I was brought up to say thank you for things that you received, and so that was what I did," she said.
"Handwritten, of course."
The governor's office called a short while later to organise an appointment to meet her.
A date and time were set and Ms Gerchow baked a fresh sponge cake and hot scones, served with strawberry jam and whipped cream for the morning tea.
She said her beautiful handwriting was a topic of much interest to Mr de Jersey, as was her cooking and her secret to living such a long life.
"I've never smoked and never drank, except for perhaps a few tablespoons of white wine with lunch," she said.
"And I was a farmer's daughter who married a farmer, so we've always had fresh food."
Ms Gerchow's son, Lindsay, said his mother spent a lot of time in her garden, which he believed also contributed to her longevity.
"She doesn't look her age either - a lot of people say that," he said.
Ms Gerchow has lived in Buderim for 43 years and five generations of her family have been born in her lifetime.