Keeping active key to living

A GOOD diet and lots of physical activity were the secrets to living more than 100 years for one Dubbo resident.

Lucy Grace Hamblin, nee Johnston, was born in Wagga Wagga on June 6, 1910, and was surrounded by the hard-working staff at the Orana Gardens Lodge recently, who helped celebrate her 102 birthday.

Mrs Hamblin shared her 102- year journey with the Daily Liberal.

Both her parents were members of farming and grazing organisations who lived on a property at Currawarrna, just out of Wagga Wagga, and she spent most her life working and living on a farm.

With no television to watch or computer games to entertain her as a young girl, she played tennis socially, attended and took part in concerts and recited poetry.

Mrs Hamblin said she was constantly sewing and cooking to enter in show competitions in Wagga Wagga and surrounding towns.

She also joined the Country Women’s Association (CWA) and was a faithful member of the Presbyterian and Uniting church.

The Daily Liberal asked Mrs Hamblin her secrets of living more than 100 years.

“No alcohol, no smoking, no drugs, much physical activity and a good diet,” she said.

The mother of three girls - Shirley Grouber, Jeannette Nash and Eleanor Poulton - Mrs Hamblin said there were many hard times in her long life, which included living through the Great Depression.

“The loss of my only boy, who was killed by a horse riding accident on the farm aged seven, was difficult,” she said.

The introduction of electricity in the early 1950s brought about many labour-saving devices such as washing machines, irons, mixmaster radio and lights which made life easier for her.

In the early 1960s, 240 volt power became readily available.

Mrs Hamblin said as a homemaker she used to cook for up to 20 farm hands at harvest time on the farm she shared with her husband Neil at Tottenham, south-west of Dubbo.

Most of her vegetables and fruit she grew herself on the land along with a huge garden with lots of flowers.

People from Tottenham would phone and ask her for flowers for wedding and funerals, she said.

She used to grow plants and sell them at a garage sale and then donate the profit to the Life Education Van.

Mrs Hamblin lived on the farm in Tottenham from 1936 to 1974 before retiring to Dubbo .

Soon after she joined the Dubbo Art and Craft Society, where she learnt to spin wool and other fibres and made many rugs for her family and charities.

Up until she was 100 years old she lived in her own house in Dubbo but then decided she was old enough for someone to look after her.

Mrs Hamblin believed the world today was remarkarbly different to what she grew up in.

“I think society is less interested in each other and there is less volunteering,” she said.

Lucy Grace Hamblin says a good diet and lots of physical activity are the secrets to living more than 100 years.  Photo: ABANOB SAAD

Lucy Grace Hamblin says a good diet and lots of physical activity are the secrets to living more than 100 years. Photo: ABANOB SAAD


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