On Friday 26 January, a Benetas aged care resident celebrated their 109th birthday.
Mildred Andrew – who lives at Benetas St George’s aged care home in the Melbourne suburb of Altona Meadows – is the oldest Victorian-born person in the state.
When Mrs Andrew was born, horse and cart was still a common mode of transport and lighting was mostly powered by gas.
Born and bred in Williamstown, Mrs Andrew has lived through two world wars, the Great Depression, the Spanish flu, the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the arrival of television, the disappearance of one prime minister and the dismissal of another, and the Mabo decision.
For almost 20 years, Mrs Andrew was a volunteer, carer and manager at the former Footscray Spastic Children’s Centre. She lobbied local councils for funds to provide a bus – which she drove – to transport children with disabilities to and from the centre.
It was for her work supporting children with disabilities that Mrs Andrew was appointed the Order of Australia on her 100th birthday.
Mrs Andrew – a Benetas St George’s resident for 14 years – celebrated her 109th birthday surrounded by friends and family.
Ruminating on her longevity, Mrs Andrew credits her no-worries attitude, and a sweet tooth. “Every night I go to bed and put a blanket over my mind and forget my worries – if you can’t fix it, it’s not worth worrying about,” Mrs Andrew said. “Or maybe it’s just a love of chocolate.”
Image: Benetas St George’s resident Mildred Andrew celebrates her 109th birthday