REAL LIFE

111-year-old Aussie woman thanks LOLLIES for her long life

She's one of the oldest people in the world.

Peg Vivian, 111, Doubleview, WA

Peering down from the huge ship, I saw my mum and dad waving at me.

They’d left Scotland two years earlier to set up a new life in Australia. I’d stayed in Glasgow with my aunt, and at 10 years old, was reunited with them. That was 101 years ago!

We took a horse and cart to our new home in Perth – just one single room.

At 15, in 1921, I got my first job, sewing upholstery for cars for 12 shillings a week. 

Six years later, I married my true love, a plumber called Jack, who I met on a train. We had two children, Tom, now 80, and Peggy, now 85.

The world has changed a lot. I remember how thrilled we were when we got our first telephone, in the 1940s. 

This week I celebrate my 111th birthday, but I feel decades younger. I’m in good health and live with Peggy.

I never imagined I’d live so long – my mum died at 64.

‘What’s your secret?’ people often ask.

I never get stressed, I don’t drink, and I eat pretty well – though I do have a weakness for lollies. In fact, I eat about 20 chocolate caramel chews a day!

They can’t be bad for me,  I think. I’m 111!

When I was younger I loved yoga, and even took up aqua aerobics in my 90s.

Peggy moved in nine years ago. We get on marvellously, but I still can’t believe I have an 85-year-old daughter – I must be getting old!

When Jack died from emphysema in 1981, I was broken hearted. Eventually, I pulled myself together and went on a cruise. I made new friends, and enrolled in courses to study.

With seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, I have a lot to live for.

I’m now officially WA’s oldest person. Perhaps it’s down to my sweet tooth!

As told to Jacqui Lang

This and more great Aussie stories in Issue 9, 2017 of that’s life!

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