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COVID-Style Balcony Party for 100-Year-Old Resident

on the Monday, February 7, 2022

"I have truly lived a rich life", says centenarian, Mrs Nora Kelly. On 19 January, Mrs Nora Kelly celebrated her 100th birthday with family and friends, who joined her in a COVID-safe ‘balcony party’, at Resthaven Leabrook.

Nora grew up in a family of 12, in Gawler, spending most of her life at Redbanks Road, Willaston.

"I was the fifth child out of 10, we kept very busy!"

"My father was a hard worker, picking up farm work wherever he could to support our family – my mother was a great stay-at-home mum to us all."

After her mother had her 10th child, Nora decided to leave school to help raise her brothers and sisters.

"It was the right thing to do, and my mother fell ill around this time, so I left school after completing my qualifying exam in year seven."

"I really cherish those memories and having extra time with my mother, before she passed away."

Nora found her passion for home-keeping - learning how to cook, clean and nurture children.

"I found that I had a knack for raising children and keeping them entertained. It made me excited to keep my own home and raise my own children one day."

Nora was able to make her dream a reality, marrying her husband, at St Peter and Paul Church in Gawler on 12 August 1944.

"We met a year prior, at the local Gawler dance, and he proposed to me on my 21st birthday – a memorable birthday for many reasons."

The newlyweds were blessed with six children of their own, and to no surprise, Nora excelled at motherhood, thanks to the invaluable time she shared with her own mother.

Nora and Joe Kelly enjoyed their lives together, driving to Adelaide every weekend with the children, and living in the ‘Majestic Hotel’ for a decade, running the business together.

"We lived an interesting life! The children enjoyed that experience, as it was quite different from anything their friends had experienced. We had a lot of fun back then."

After the hotel closed, the couple settled down in a house in Glengowrie.

"After living in a hotel for so long, I wanted my own garden. I got right into it, and my roses were so beautiful, the neighbours started requesting me to tend to theirs! I became the street’s unofficial rose pruner from then on."

Nora was still planting her own tomatoes in her veggie patch right up until she moved into Resthaven Leabrook at the age of 96.

Now, Nora enjoys her time with her friends on-site, with regular visits from her six children, and fourteen grandchildren.

"I have truly lived a rich life."

Many happy returns, Mrs Kelly!

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