On 9 May, Resthaven Malvern resident, Mrs Mary Philp, reaches her 100th milestone – owing it all to her family. "We have always been close. I grew up in Port Adelaide with my parents, and my maiden aunts lived right next door!"
"We had a great time together, all of us. Sunday nights were picture nights, and we would always purchase a great big cake from the store next to the theatre to take home. I always looked forward to Sunday."
Mrs Philp also had a strong group of friends growing up, which lasted a lifetime.
"There were five of us, and we were friends until they passed away in their late years. We met as young children at the local Congregational Church, as it was back then."
Mrs Philp got into a lot of trouble with her friends over the years, and one night, when she was 18-years-old, they all decided to go to the dance at the Embassy Ballroom in town.
"All us girls were sitting in a line, waiting for the gentlemen to approach us – different times back then! My dear Alick came straight up to me and asked me to dance."
Mrs Philp ran off with her friends before he could ask to see her on a date, but he saw her again at the pictures, and sat down next to her.
"He wanted to walk me home, and I said, 'if you want to walk with my parents, sure!', and he did."
"He was an outgoing man - they got along right away, asking him to come inside for cake when we reached home. That was enough for me, and we married in June 1941."
During the war, Mrs Philp trained as a teacher, finding a passion in deaf education.
"I taught reception to grade 7, and although I wasn’t supposed to teach, as I was married, they didn’t have much choice as all the men were gone. Not Alick though – he was an engineer, who worked on the submarines."
As an only child herself, Mrs Philp went on to have an only child, Barbara.
"We are all very close, and until Barbara moved out with her own family, we all lived with my parents, who renovated the family home to fit us all."
Now, Mrs Philp enjoys precious time with her close-knit family, who are celebrating milestones of their own.
"Barbara reached 80 on 8 May, and Jane [granddaughter] reached, 50 on 20 April. We are having a joint celebration at Barbara’s. What a year!"
As she approaches her centenarian birthday, Mrs Philp shares, "I’ve lived an exceptional life, and never went without anything. Always support those in need if you can, and cherish the family you have - you only get one."
Many happy returns, Mrs Philp!