Family celebration for 103 years

Celebration: Jean Gray celebrated her 103rd birthday last Friday with her daughter Alwyn Burney (from left), great-granddaughter Sophie Atkins and granddaughter Peta Thomas.

CENTENARIAN Jean Gray has always had a love for people and a passion for the south west.

The May Noonan Centre resident celebrated her 103rd birthday with fellow residents and family members at an afternoon tea last Friday.

One of eight children, Mrs Gray was born in Warrnambool and moved around the south west with her family before settling in Terang when she was 22 years old.

She soon met her husband Ernest, an English immigrant passing through town, whom she married in 1939.

With three children, six grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren, family has become a large part of Mrs Gray’s life.

She said part of the secret to her longevity was “getting on and not worrying” about the little things in life.

Her daughter Alwyn Burney said her mother had always loved people.

“She is a social butterfly,” she said.

“She always said you have got to keep yourself active.”

Mrs Gray has been involved in a number of local groups in Terang, including the local Country Women’s Association branch, Red Cross, the Rotary Club and Probus.

She also played tennis and indoor bowls at the local clubs.

Mrs Gray has continued to pursue a number of hobbies at the May Noonan Centre, including knitting, board games, puzzles and reading, as well as enjoying bus trips across the south west.

Ms Alwyn said her mother also indulged in the “odd sherry” on occasion.

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