Living through the Great Depression instilled a ‘waste not, want not' philosophy in Alice Hafner who celebrates her 100th birthday on Wednesday.
Alice will be surrounded by her five daughters, Rae, Joan, Cheryl, Sandra and Veronica, and their families who have travelled from afar to celebrate the special milestone with her.
Alice May Hafner, nee Henderson, was born on the 23 February, 1922 to William and Grace in the small country town of Goondiwindi.
The youngest of four children, Alice spent her early childhood on her parents’ sheep station, Pippinford the Gums.
Alice was just 17 years old when World War II began and during the war years she was sent to Sydney to assist her older married sister Edna with her children.
Rae and Cheryl said through this experience their mother was taught to ration, skimp and scrape, and in return this helped recycling become an everyday practice for her.
“Living during the war years Alice experienced rationing enforced by the use of coupons and was limited to clothing, tea, sugar, butter and meat,” Cheryl said.
“The Great Depression period of the 1930s and World War II contributed to grounding Alice’s thoughts to ‘waste not, want not’.
“Often the question was asked late Sunday afternoon ‘what’s for tea Mum?’ and Alice would always respond with ‘bread and butter and duck under the table’.”
After the war finished Alice returned to Toowoomba, and it was there she met her husband George Alexander Hafner, a returned soldier.
The couple were married in Toowoomba in 1952 before George was sent to Bundaberg to work as a linesman for Post Masters General.
“Alice has outlived the life span of many previous generations of family members,” Cheryl said.
“Alice’s husband George passed some 29 years ago.
“Always being a very active person, Alice moved from the family home in FE Walker Street down to the coast.
“She spent some 15 years living independently on her beloved acreage before moving into town and living independently.”
Alice thoroughly enjoyed travelling Australia in her seventies and eighties and she became a great storyteller, sharing her adventures with the family on her return along with the customary souvenir of a teaspoon and tea towel.
“Alice can contribute her longevity to a very basic lifestyle of hard work and a simple healthy diet,” Cheryl said.
“During her retirement years Alice was an active member for Meals on Wheels for many years delivering meals to some folk older than herself.
“Alice loves playing cards and never missed the weekly Bundaberg Seniors mornings and Pensioner League. The cooking she made for the cent sales was most sort after.”
The last three years have seen Alice living a happy assisted life in a care facility.
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