HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Adela Durque celebrates her 100th birthday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Adela Durque celebrates her 100th birthday. Paul Donaldson BUN190917AGE1

Red wine and leafy greens behind 100-year-old's longevity

ADELA Durque isn't sure how she's come to make it to her 100th birthday, but a nice glass of red wine, cigarettes and a game of bingo has certainly made it enjoyable.

Adela was joined by 70 family members and friends for a pre-birthday celebration at the weekend, which she said she "enjoyed very much".

"My daughter cooked everything and I had family come over from the Philippines," she said.

The centenarian has a large family as a mother of five, with 16 grandchildren and "a lot" of great-grandchildren.

She said while she was living in the Philippines she was a dressmaker and beautician and today continues to do her own hair and make-up.

She was also a hard worker and fiercely independent - something she maintains now, catching the bus to bingo, doing her own cooking and even a bit of gardening.

As to the secret to her health, Adela said it was all dietary.

"I like red wine very much, I have it before a meal for my appetite," she said.

"And I'm happy when I smoke.

"I eat a lot of leafy greens and just a little bit of meat."

Her memory, too, has not been slowed by age, with games of bingo and solitaire helping to keep her mental clarity, daughter Emma said.

"She has a fresh mind and is very busy all the time," Emma said.

"She doesn't need a phone book, she can remember everyone's phone book.

"She plays solitaire every night, it's all numbers with her. She even gets up early on a Thursday and Friday to get to bingo."

Having seen a century of change, particularly in technology, Adela said one of the best innovations in that time had been the telephone.

Emma said she believed her mother's longevity stemmed from a lack of stress.

"She doesn't stress about anything," she said.

"Everyone helps out, she doesn't feel abandoned and she can still do everything herself. We stand by to help if need be, but she doesn't need it."

With a smile on her face, Adela said she wouldn't know the key to leading a long and happy life because she is only 100, "still young".

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