It has been an exciting time for Moyne Aged Care Plus with resident Cecille Farley celebrating her milestone 100th birthday recently.

Cecille who was still driving until shortly after her 99th birthday when she entered the facility continues to enjoy an active lifestyle and remains passionate in her dedication to her artwork.

“I was always interested in sketching as a child,” she said.

“It was something I did as a hobby, take my books and sketch. After boarding school, I went to East Sydney Tech to study art.

“To give myself a little outing I’d go to the local school five miles away, I’d ride over and teach the children art.

“I took over the art class from the headmaster and he was quite pleased for me to do it. I taught potter after that, to a night school of mostly women,” she said.

Cecille was the most successful exhibitor in artworks sections at the recent Canowindra Show, taking out two first places and a second place for her work.

Like many young women of her time, she was encouraged to train in shorthand and typing which her family felt would hold her in good stead to gain alternative employment.

“When I was quite young, shortly after I left school, someone made the comment that I should do shorthand and typing,” she said.

“If you do shorthand and typing you can go anywhere. I kept that in the back of my mind and thought ‘ah ha’ I’ll do that so I can travel.

“I’ve travelled to Fiji, New Zealand, England, China and Israel. I think my time in London is my favourite memory, it was a marvellous time, there was so much to do and see over there,” she said.

Cecille said she had no regrets in life and put her longevity down to a good healthy farm life and being fed fresh milk, cream and fruit at a young age.

While visiting Cecille, Member for Orange Phil Donato, said she was an inspiration to every member of the community.

“If I am fortunate enough to reach the age now enjoyed by Ms. Farley I would hope I could do so with the same passion and zest for life which makes Ms. Farley a role model for older Australians,” he said.

“It is inspiring to see that Ms. Farley pursued her dream to become an artist.”

Cecille believes the biggest change in the last century was the shift from horses to cars.

“I remember driving to town in the horse and sulky at 12 miles,” she said.

“Not more than twice a week and we wouldn’t all go. One would go to do the shopping and then the whole family would go to church on Sunday.

“My advice for young people is don’t forget god, god has been an important part of my life,” she said.

This story originally appeared in Canowindra News.