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Nancy Gleeson with Jan Thompson of Blue Care, Katrina Gleeson, Father Jim Brown, Caroline Dubois (Blue Care) and Cr Mark Edwards at her 100th birthday at the Russell Island RSL.

Russell Island resident Nancy Gleeson doesn't want any fuss at all in her life.

It is probably why she has just celebrated her remarkable 100th birthday!

And celebrate she has been forced to do!

There have been telegrams from the Queen and the Governor General as well as politicians, and a couple of them 'rocked up' to a special 100th cake cutting celebration held for Nancy at the Russell Island RSL by the Blue Care ladies.

Cr Mark Edwards and FAther Jim Brown, a family friend, turned up to wish Nancy well and there were plenty of well wishers and deserved congratulations on the outstanding milestone.

It was fortunate that Nancy was able to give up her 'day job' lawn mowing for her son Anthony Gleeson (a standard joke - sorry about that!)

She didn't care for all the fuss and bother, but on this occasion she had little choice.

Remarkably, Nancy just recently had the first ever major operation in her life when she had an arm bone strengthened by surgeons with the placement of a plate in her arm.

Two days after the operation, she couldn't wait to get out of hospital and return to Russell Island where she lives with son Anthony and daughter-in-law Katrina of the Russell Island Post Office.

Nancy, born Winifred Marion Stokes, came into the world on Tuesday, March the 31st, 1915.

She was just 26 days old when Australian soldiers created a mythical legend as they stormed the beaches at Gallipoli.

From an early age she preferred to be called 'Nancy' and the strong-willed Brisbane girl grew up in the Enoggera area of Brisbane.

She went to a Catholic Convent and in her working life was an office worker for the famous Allan and Stark Emporium, receiving a first wage of just 11/4 pence per week.

It was somewhat later in her life that she me the love of her life, Harold Gleeson.

She was 38 years of age when she had her first child, eldest and 'perfect' son Anthony (his description).

He was followed by another son Denis and a daughter Catherine. Her family became extended when Nancy's sister died, taking three of her siblings.

The family lived in the Ashgrove and East Brisbane areas prior to Harold Gleeson passing away in 1978.

Nancy lived on her own for some years, but later moved in with son Anthony and his lovely wife, Katrina; also making the move with the to Russell Island about six years ago.

She is loved dearly by her family, and particularly her grand children.

Despite the recent operation, Nancy Gleeson is totally 'with it'.

She has lived through an amazing time in history, with technology in the 100 years making more advances than at any time in history.

When Nancy was a girl, horses and carts were aplenty and not much else.

She has seen remarkable advances in travel, flight, wars and technology.

So much so that she recently commandeered son Anthony's iPad for her personal use.

"I will loan it to you, but you have to give it back," she told him.

So what has been the secret to Nancy's longevity?

She doesn't really know but does admit to having lived a fairly 'clean life'.

She puffed a cigarette once on a visit to Melbourne and has she has never had an alcoholic beverage in her life.

She was tall enough to reach over the rear porch to pull a switch off the peach tree to apply to Anthony when he was 'troublesome' as a young boy, but we suspect her son may have exaggerated this tale!

Nancy Gleeson has had a fulfilling life; she is still sprightly and reckons she has plenty of living still to do.

We certainly hope so and join all islanders in wishing her a wonderful 100th Birthday!



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