After more than a century of birthdays, Ivy Ravell has picked up a trick or two to make the big day special, and thus she celebrated her 104th year in style on Saturday.
“I got a letter from the Queen, and Stephen Bromhead brought flowers,” she said.
“She has a big group of friends, and they always celebrate birthdays with a special afternoon tea,” Ivy’s granddaughter, Donna added.
“They all used to do dinners, but now Ivy can’t leave the house they do afternoon tea at her place for all the birthdays, it’s tradition.”
Ivy, who was born and raised in Forster, believed she was now the oldest living original resident of the area.
”I have a lot of friends in the area still, and we think there’s no one older,” she said.
After relocating to Sydney to live with an aunt for a period during the war, Ivy returned to Forster to got married, and never looked back.
“She was a hair model for a salon when she was in Sydney,” Donna explained.
“She won the Blonde Venus competition, which was a promotion for the movie when it came out.”
Ivy’s children, grand children, great grand children and even three great great grand children are scattered all across the State, but everyone makes time to visit the Forster house she and her husband George built in 1958.
When it comes to Ivy’s secret to such a long, happy life, she believes the it is pure good luck.
“She’s on a low salt and sugar diet, and always had a big fruit and veggie garden,” Donna said.
“Her husband was a fisherman, so she ate lots of fish too, maybe that’s the secret!”
“I played tennis until I was 70, and bowls up to 101,” Ivy added.
And her exercise regime didn’t end there, Ivy maintained her active lifestyle until the ripe old age of 102, walking everywhere, including to and from the shops.
“I’ve been living with her for just over a year now,” Donna said, “she’s less mobile now, and listens to a lot of talking books.
“She still loves a good cowboy story!”