During her four years serving in the air force, Iris Terry had a rare day off from kitting up new recruits for war and was asked by a pilot to go for a ride.
She was all ready to go until she got called into work. A couple of her other girlfriends still went on the flight. Tragically all were killed in a crash.
It’s one of the many ups and downs the long-time Carramar resident Iris Terry can recall as she prepares to turn 100 on Friday.
Originally from Griffith, she moved to Sydney before the war and joined the air force with her twin sister in 1942. Her four brothers also joined the army.
After the war she settled in Carramar in a house her late-husband Emerson built and lived there for 60 years.
She worked as a tailor until she was 83 and only recently has moved to the Rosary Village in Yennora after a stroke affected her speech.
But it hasn’t stopped her from living an active life.
She still walks every day in the garden and participates in all the Village’s activities.
Her 100th birthday festivities begin on Friday when she will be chauffeured in a limousine, visiting her former neighborhood Newtown and the Queen Victoria Building.
On Saturday she will have a party at Cabra-Vale Diggers.
Long-time neighbour Fay Poulter said it was impossible to take Iris to Fairfield without people stopping her to say hello.
“She’s friendly to everybody. She makes friends with everybody. Anything she can do to help she will,” she said.
“I’ve always called her Aunty Iris; everyone does. She is a very active lady and walks better than me.”
So what is Iris’ secret to reaching triple digits? “To wake up every day and be happy and never let things drag you down,” she said.