A MORNINGTON woman described by her daughter as “four foot 10 inches of positivity and happiness” toasted her centenary on Friday 3 July.
But, due to coronavirus concerns, Elaine Hedgcock’s birthday was a trifle muted.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t all be there, however, her four children, three of her 14 grandchildren, and four or her 27 great-grandchildren came separately during the day in rosters,” daughter Robyn Davies said. She also has two great-great grandchildren.
“There were lots of phone calls and three overseas FaceTimes from grandchildren – Tim from Perth, Lara from San Francisco and Peter from Dubai. They were very teary as they could not be here.”
Ms Davies said her mother’s advice to those wanting to live a long and happy life was to “walk and always smile”.
Ms Hedgcock was born at home in South Melbourne and has happy memories of her childhood in Pascoe Vale South with her parents, sister and three brothers.
She and husband Dave raised four children at West Preston where Ms Hedgcock worked at various part-time jobs in the local shops and later as a tea lady at Kodak, Coburg.
After Dave died 20 years ago, she moved to the Mornington Peninsula to be closer to her family and lived on her own until she was 93. She now lives with Ms Davies in Green Island Avenue, Mount Martha, where her children visit her every day.
“Mum was known as ‘The Greyhound’ as she was always running everywhere,” Ms Davies recalled. “She has always loved animals and has had a dog all her life.
“She walked every day and, even now, walks three times a day with her walker.”
Ms Hedgcock also loves cooking the “best roast dinners” and is “happiest when surrounded by family”.
“She has always had an optimistic outlook on life and is fun to be around,” Ms Davies said. “She has never smoked or drank alcohol, and believes in being active and helping anybody out.
“Mum always said she wanted to live to 100, and was thrilled to receive congratulatory letters from the Queen, Governor-General, Prime Minister, the premier and state MPs.
“When the restrictions are over we will have a much bigger celebration, so she has to keep going.”