A long and rich life

Ethel Ritchie celebrated her 100th birthday last Friday, surrounded by family and friends at the UnitedCare Ageing residence in Nowra.

Nephews, nieces and grand-nephews all took turns to speak about their love for Mrs Ritchie.

One niece remembered seeing Mrs Ritchie win the Canberra President’s Golf Cup.

“You were so elated, you were over the moon. You kept playing golf until you were 95 and not many can do that,” she said.

Many family members were there to share the occasion, with eight of them travelling from interstate. 

Younger generations sent love and congratulations and the room was filled with well-wishers. 

Even Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash stopped by to pay her respects to “one hell of a lady”.

After speeches and a slideshow of Mrs Ritchie’s life an enormous cake was wheeled out. 

A cry of “go Ethel!” went up as she very capably wielded a giant knife.

“Thank you all for coming and confirming that I really am this old because I have no idea how I’ve gone through so many years since I was born,” she said. 

Recreational lifestyle manager at the facility, Katrina Kinlyside said Mrs Ritchie had revealed her secrets to a long life: “Don’t smoke, don’t have children and don’t drink water. Don’t write down the last bit.”

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