Gloria Alexander marks 90th birthday at Cooranbong on February 15

NEW SKILLS: Gloria Alexander with a sample of the artworks she's created since taking up painting at Avondale House, at Cooranbong. Picture: David Stewart
NEW SKILLS: Gloria Alexander with a sample of the artworks she's created since taking up painting at Avondale House, at Cooranbong. Picture: David Stewart

Gloria Alexander said that fish caught in Dora Creek had been a dietary staple for her family for decades.

Mrs Alexander celebrates her 90th birthday today (February 15) and she reckons the seafood diet has been one of the keys to her longevity.

“It’s definitely helped,” she said.

As one of six children, Mrs Alexander (nee Capper) said fish was plentiful and popular on the family dinner table.

“We lived on fish. It’s what mum would feed us all on,” she said.

She said family members, including uncles, would regularly venture out on the water to lay nets.

“And sometimes I’d go out with them prawning,” she said.

Mrs Alexander left school at age 13, and had a variety of jobs over her working career.

“I think my first job was delivering papers in Dora Creek, and working for Mrs Weppler in the general store,” she said.

She also worked at a hospital at Wyong for about a decade.

“I’d have have a baby in each arm and I’d take them to their mothers,” she said.

“I also worked in a cafe at Wyong, and on a dairy farm at Jilliby.”

She also recalls dabbling in Tupperware and cleaning houses for a living.

Away from work, Mrs Alexander said she enjoyed darts and lawn bowls.

“I got very involved in darts which kept me busy,” she said.

Mrs Alexander in the new garden area at Avondale House, Cooranbong, this week. Picture: David Stewart

Mrs Alexander in the new garden area at Avondale House, Cooranbong, this week. Picture: David Stewart

“I played competition darts all over Lake Macquarie, and was captain of our team.

“After darts, I took up bowls at Morisset Hospital.”

Mrs Alexander has explored some new hobbies since moving to Adventist Senior Living’s Avondale House, in Cooranbong, five years ago.

She now plays indoor bowls, and has developed her artistic side through painting classes. Some of her artworks take pride of place on the walls of her room.

The move into Avondale House has also helped Mrs Alexander to make a network of new friends, and to reconnect with an old one.

“I have a friend on Floor 2, Dulcie Parker, and we first met at age 10 at Dora Creek School, and we’ve been friends ever since,” she said.

“It’s lovely. We can still talk about the old times. I remember walking up the steps of the Dora Creek School together, as we were both in the same class.”

Mrs Alexander has six children, 13 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.

Up to 60 relatives and friends are expected to visit Mrs Alexander today.

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