Family and music key to celebrating happy 100
AGE has no boundaries for Babinda great-great-grandmother Emily Morris, who tapped away on the keys of her favourite instrument yesterday to ring in her 100th birthday.
"On a good day, she still plays the piano," grand-daughter Sheridan Morris said.
"Her music was a big part of her life. Until recently, she would play at all our events and she used to play the honky-tonk piano, old songs and musicals. We grew up singing musicals whether we liked it or not."
Surrounded by five generations of family at Babinda Hospital, including one son Ken, 81, five grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren, Mrs Morris celebrated her day with a slice of cake and a cuddle from newborn great-great-grand-daughter Kendall, who is almost exactly 100 years her junior.
"She's excited; she's looking really bright, really pretty all done up and we're all excited for her," Ms Morris said.
Letters from the Queen, Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Governor of Queensland Penelope Wensley, Premier Campbell Newman, Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt and Member for Kennedy Bob Katter were proudly displayed on a mantle amid the festivities.
Described as a hard worker who was inspiring, loving and a keen charity worker, Mrs Morris, who was born in NSW in 1913, moved to Cairns in 1975 and settled at Babinda 17 years ago after the death of her husband Stan.
Ms Morris said her grandmother lived a fulfilling life as a "classic coal miner's daughter".
"Her father died in a coal mining accident and she was brought up by her grandmother, married very young and had my father very young," she said.
"That old saying "coal miner's daughter" is exactly Emily she's had a hard life and it's very inspiring what can be done."
Son Ken said seeing his mother celebrate her historic milestone yesterday was incredible. "I'm so proud of my mother, I'm over the moon," he said.
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Inspiring life: Emily Morris celebrated her 100th birthday with five generations of her family, including her great-great-grandchild Morgan Kelly, 7, at Babinda Hospital yesterday. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS