Ruby joins Brisbane's growing centenarian club
REACHING your century is a landmark - and it's one that staff and residents at RSL Care Treetops at New Farm have plenty of practice celebrating.
Ruby Perry celebrated her 100th birthday at the site on September 16, marking the occasion with a courtyard party with family and fellow residents, a chocolate cake and a serenade by staff.
Ruby is the fourth current Treetops resident to join the elite ranks of centenarians - the eldest of the group, Elma Tadman, 103, was among those sharing the fun at last week's party.
"Enjoy the day," was Elma's advice for her friend after she presented her with a card.
A healthy dose of chocolate is also part of her prescription for happiness after 100 - and she's been known to hand them out at breakfast time.
Ruby was born in 1916 at Toowoomba and remembers walking about an hour to school with her siblings.
Later, she lived at Spring Hill and worked in her mother's mixed business store, where she caught the eye of a young customer, Len Perry.
The pair married in 1936 and raised five children in and around Brisbane, where Len worked as a bus depot master.
Ruby has lived at Treetops for the past five years and enjoys spending time in the garden, going out outings, taking part in concerts and playing bingo and hoy.
Her children and six grandchildren are regular visitors.
RSL Care Treetops diversional therapist Pauline Mammino said helping residents spend time outdoors and supporting them to continue their lifelong interests was one reason residents stayed active and engaged even after hitting 100.
Looking after the thriving vegetable garden, with its raised beds for easy access, is a popular pastime, and residents from different cultural backgrounds also keep busy making everything from fresh gnocchi to chutney and pickles based on their own fresh produce.