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Centenary Celebrations

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

KNOWN most for her crafts and spending time with her family, it was fitting that friends and relatives filled Terang’s Mount View Aged Care facility to celebrate Eileen Alsop’s 100th birthday recently.

Eileen Daisy Fitzpatrick was born in Leeton, New South Wales on May 25, 1916, the first child of Michael Joseph Fitzpatrick and Esther Daisy Fitzpatrick.

She had three brothers Donald, Leslie and Henry, growing up at Narrandera in Southern New South Wales.

Eileen’s family moved to Eastern Creek between Timboon and Port Campbell, where she lived until she was nine years old.

She then moved north to live with her grandmother, Ellen Naismith in Narrandera until her grandmother’s death in 1937.

Eileen attended Morven Public School while she was in New South Wales then moved back onto her family’s farm at Eastern Creek and at 21 years of age, attended the Timboon debutante ball.

She enjoyed going to events and one night, whilst playing cards at the Newfield school hall, met a man by the name of Wilfred Alsop.

The Alsops had been one of the early settlers in the area, and Eileen immediately took a liking to Wilfred and the two began courting.

Eileen described her chance meeting as ‘love at first sight’ and the couple married at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Camperdown on January 11, 1941.

Eileen and Wilfred moved into their first home together at Newfield, where she gave birth to her first child, Lorraine in 1943, the first of three daughters for the couple.

Despite developing a thyroid condition that prevented Eileen from having children temporarily, she gave birth to Gail in 1954 and Janine in 1956, when Eileen was aged 40.

The couple worked until the early 1970s, when they retired to Cobden, a place where Eileen would spend almost another four decades.

Tragedy struck in 1975, when Wilfred passed away and Eileen remarked she would never remarry because she could ‘never find another husband as good as him’.

Eileen remained in Cobden until she was 94, when she moved into Mount View Aged Care in Terang and has been a popular resident ever since.

Her three daughters, Lorraine Buckingham, Gail Taylor and Janine Cameron said their mother has lived a quiet, but enjoyable life, enjoying the arts, including music, sewing and baking.

An album featuring some of the ribbons picked up at the Heytesbury and Camperdown Agricultural shows attest to her fine skills in the kitchen.

Lorraine said Eileen has always loved the arts and spending time with her family.

“She loved her grandchildren,” she said.

“She was a family person who taught us all how to sew.

“The reason she has lived to her age is she never drank or smoked.”

Lorraine recalls one time her mother pulled her up while enjoying a drink.

“I was having a stubby and she stared at me and said ‘I thought I’d never see the day when you drink out of a stubby’,” she said.

“She was a quiet person, but often played bowls and she absolutely loves music.”

Along with her three daughters, Eileen has six grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Eileen celebrated her 100th birthday with the cutting of her centenary cake in front of family, friends and Mount View staff and residents.

Story & Photo Courtesy of WD News