BALNARRING resident Valda Angus says there is no secret to her longevity: It is simply a lucky trifecta of a positive attitude, a happy marriage of seven decades, and having “the best daughter in the world”.
Ms Angus, 100, now lives with her daughter Gayle Anderson, but for 69 years lived with her husband Victor in Frankston, after buying a block of land after the war and building their home.
Their marriage was a love story that started after a trip to the old Frankston carnival and then a meeting at the Frankston railway gates, where they were instantly smitten with each other.
As was often the case back in the early 20th century, Ms Angus never worked or had a driver’s licence and stayed home to raise their daughter.
Gayle Anderson says her parents lived a “happy, working class life”, and while they didn’t have much in the way of wealth, they wanted for nothing.
Although there has been heartache, first when Ms Angus’s father passed away when she was 17, and then when her husband Victor died four years ago, she says she feels “quite blessed” with the life she has had and still “can’t quite believe” she has made it to 100.
Her memories are vivid and include stories of caravanning holidays around Australia, Easters in Yarrawonga, and of the materials shortages after the war that delayed her wedding and the building of their home, something Ms Anderson says is a sad parallel to the shortages we are experiencing today because of COVID disruptions to the transport chain.
Ms Anderson says her mother’s memories of her school days are still tinged with the trauma of being forced to write with her right hand, despite being left handed.
Ms Angus says she and her husband loved living in Frankston and had regular outings to the Frankston movie theatre, where she recalls Victor – a truck driver – driving a bunch of movie goers home in the town bus because the driver fell ill.
Another time the milkman, who used a horse and cart to deliver the milk, was too drunk to finish his rounds so Victor had to step in and take the reins, quite literally, to get the milk out.
Asked about her tips for living a long, heathy life, Ms Angus jokes that her motto is “there’s no dessert in the world that you can’t top with cream” and, in the same spirit, she continues to eat one chocolate every day.