Over 4462 candles would be needed to light up the birthday cake at this party

BlueCross 97Birthday

Oldest guest in attendance Mary Ward Breheny, 102, raising a toast with Ms Julia Banks (MP for Chisholm), Mr Tim Wilson (MP for Goldstein) and BlueCross Chief Executive Alan Lilly.

Each year, BlueCross Community and Residential Services throw a huge birthday party, inviting all the residents and clients who have turned 97 and over. This event brings guests, family and staff together for a grand celebration to recognise their incredible lives and achievements. The 97+ Birthday celebration has become a popular BlueCross tradition since the first was held in 2010. 

Our oldest guest in attendance, Mary Ward Breheny, 102, was given the honour of cutting the cake with Ms Julia Banks (MP for Chisholm), Mr Tim Wilson (MP for Goldstein) and BlueCross Chief Executive Alan Lilly. Mary also cut the birthday cake at last years’ celebration. Many may recognize Mary from her role as Mum Brooks in hit Australian TV series Prisoner and for her role as Dee Morrell in Sons and Daughters. After cutting the cake last year she told other guests ‘I’ve had so much fun, I’ll be back again to cut the cake next year!’. Surely enough, Mary was back again this year to do just that.

In attendance at this event were 46 residents and clients over the age of 97. At BlueCross there are over 143 residents and clients over the age of 97 years. At 111 years old, supercentenarian Marjorie Cooke of BlueCross Cresthaven is believed to be Australia’s oldest person. She also holds the honour of having lived in a BlueCross home for the longest period of time, at 18 years. Although Marjorie could not attend the birthday party, Chief Executive Alan Lilly wished her well in his speech. The party included high tea, live entertainment and lots of champagne of course! Guests were welcomed by the BlueCross executive team and special guests of honour, Ms Julia Banks and Mr Tim Wilson. Formalities were followed by the happy birthday song and cake for all.

At BlueCross, we understand the importance of celebrating living longer and better with our residents and their families. BlueCross is acutely aware of the significance of ageing positively and continues to develop innovative and person-centred programs to enrich the lives of our clients and residents. 

So what was the world like 97 years ago?

Summer Olympics held in Antwerp, Belgium. The games ‘theme’ was remember the victims of the First World War and reconciliation between nations. 

Mass media was born, the first commercially-licensed radio station began broadcasting live results of the US presidential election. The transmission of breaking news was new and unprecedented, and as word spread of this new medium, the “talking box” exploded in popularity.

A loaf of bread cost about 5d (pence) and a quart of milk cost 7d (pence) in Australia

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