Great-grandmother Esma Hulett is a walking, talking advertisement for healthy ageing. Despite turning 100 years of age on Saturday, December 2, Esma doesn’t use a walking stick, walking frame, or even glasses!
The Winston Hills resident keeps up the spirits of other residents around her home at Levande’s The Willows retirement village with a sprightly sense of humour.
Esma confessed to wondering “what all the fuss is about!” when she saw all the preparations underway to celebrate her milestone with a special party at The Willows.
Born in Dubbo in country NSW in 1923, Esma was the youngest of three, having two older brothers. Tragically, her father passed away when Esma was just five years old.
After school, Esma worked in Dubbo’s munitions factory, where rifles and machine guns were manufactured for Australia’s war effort. When the building was converted to a Bonds clothing factory after the war, Esma stayed on.
Esma married her husband Clive in 1949, they then moved to Sydney where they ran a milk bar in Hurlstone Park. Later they moved again, to Campsie, raising their children Cheryl and Mark. Esma now has four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren and says being a professional mother and caregiver has been her most cherished role.
Esma’s secret to a long life? In her own words, “Being too stubborn to let anything get me down!” – that is despite four bouts of cancer and a brain injury.
These days Esma’s constant companion is her iPad, on which she reads, plays games and watches YouTube videos, as well as keeping up with current events on the radio and television.
Lifestyle & Wellbeing Coordinator at Levande’s The Willows village, Felicity Gee, said, “Esma is a pleasure to know and such a wonderful success story for retirement living.
“Every day she shows us how rewarding and enjoyable retirement can be. She’s a lovely lady with a great sense of humour and a wonderful family around her to celebrate her century.”
Levande’s Chief Information Officer Bruce Nolte visited The Willows to present Esma with some gifts at her birthday party, where she also received an official greeting from King Charles III