20 Mar Phyillis takes a joy ride
When Phyllis Martin was asked how she wanted to celebrate her 102nd birthday, she mentioned she’d like to take a ride in a vintage car like the ones that were around when she was a little girl. Her friends at Uniting Mayflower in Gerringong were there to make it happen.
Like many of our aged care homes, the team at Uniting Mayflower like to help residents fulfil some of their ‘bucket list’ experiences.
“Sometimes our residents can’t get out to do the things they’ve been wanting to do,” said Lifestyle Coordinator, Margaret Darling. “Part of our job here is to try to make those dreams come true and life a little more special.”
“I asked Phyllis if she had an unlived wild streak – maybe something like riding a motorbike or getting a tattoo. She told me she wasn’t sure about motorbikes, but she is a fan of vintage cars.”
After a bit of sleuthing, Margaret managed to track down a 1912 Ford Model T – manufactured four years before Phyllis was born – and booked her in for a joyride to the nearby town of Berry.
“I thought, ‘We need to make this happen, because not everyone’s 102’,” said Margaret.
Phyllis was born in 1916 and spent most of her life in Wollongong where she was married and raised two sons; David and John. Phyllis has fond memories of life in the seaside town where she enjoyed an active life and “loved the beach and swimming”.
Phyllis’ son John credits her active lifestyle with her longevity. “She’s only been to hospital two or three times in her life – she’s a tough nut,” he said. “Her quality of life is still good. You’ll still find her walking the corridors at Uniting Mayflower.”
For John, Phyllis’ birthday was an opportunity to celebrate his special Mum. “You don’t appreciate the sacrifices your parents made for you until later in life. You don’t realise those things until you have your own children. She’s a wonderful mother and I think an inspiration to everyone at Uniting Mayflower – she’s a remarkable person.”
Birthdays are always worth celebrating; but when you’ve seen over 100 of them, you deserve to be treated to something extra special – even if you’ve started to lose count…
“102? I thought I was only 100,” Phyllis told Win News Illawarra with a cheeky smile. “I don’t know where those two extra years came from…”
You can watch Phyllis celebrate her 102nd birthday in style on the Uniting Facebook page.
For more inspiring stories from our aged care residents, read:
Eight things to do in your 80s
You can also find out more information about how Uniting works with aged care residents and their families, get in touch with us on 1800 864 846 or email us