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Pinjarra Hills local reflects on 100 years in Brisbane

Lloyd and Ethel with their family.jpg

From humble beginnings in Hendra in the 1920s, Ethel has called Brisbane home for the past 100 years.

Last week she kicked off a week of celebrations to mark her century from her home at Bolton Clarke’s Fairview Retirement Village at Pinjarra Hills.

Ethel says it’s hard to fathom how much she’s seen Brisbane grow and change over the years.

“It’s changed dramatically from when I lived up at Hendra – it used to be an ordinary, working-class suburb and now look at it!” she reflects.

“I was born in Brisbane on 25th January in 1924, went to Hendra State School and eventually signed up for the Army during the war.

“I worked on Ann Street as part of the pay office, then went over to where the Wesley Hospital is now and finished up based at Cloudland.”

Ethel met her late husband Lloyd when they crossed paths during the war and eventually both worked for Brisbane’s Cash and Carry stores.

“We went out together once before he went to war - I was 17 and he was 19 - and we would correspond all the time.

“When Lloyd came back from the war, we got engaged and were married in 1946.”

The pair, along with their three children, moved to Rockhampton for four years but soon returned to their beloved home town, settling in Toowong.

“We bought a block of land in west Toowong and built our home that we stayed in for 45 years on Kapunda Street.

“In those days, the whole street were friends and we all had young kids so they would all play together, and it was lovely.

“We stayed there until Lloyd was 80 and I was 78, but that’s when we decided we needed to downsize and that’s how we ended up here in Fairview 22 years ago!

“We moved in here thinking it was where we would spend the last five years of our lives but Lloyd ended up living until he was 95 and I’m still here.

“It was the best move we ever made and we have both really enjoyed our time here.”

Over the years, Ethel has experienced firsthand changes including the amalgamation of local governments to make the City of Greater Brisbane, the opening of Brisbane City Hall, the 1974 floods and World Expo ‘88.

Now, Ethel offers advice to locals for living a long and happy life:

“Having a good family is the main key to happiness in life and that’s all you can hope for.”  

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