Queensland Community Care Network Ltd (QCCN) had the distinct honour of being the guest of Their Excellencies, the Governor General and Mrs. Hurley, at an unforgettable afternoon tea hosted at Government House in Canberra, ACT. This remarkable event, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the 100+ Club program, marked three decades of honouring and supporting Australian centenarians, emphasising that age is no barrier to a vibrant and fulfilling life.
Established in 1993, the 100+ Club program originated from a heartwarming act of kindness. Mrs Ann Kerr, a dedicated volunteer visiting a resident as part of the Community Visitors Scheme, asked centenarian Mr George Cartwright if there was anything he would like to do. To her surprise, Mr. Cartwright, aged 100, expressed a simple desire – to have tea with someone his own age. This request ignited a search to find another resident of the same age, eventually leading to the joyful meeting of Mr. Cartwright and Mrs. Alma “Wolfie” Wolfenden, aged 101, at James Ommaney Retirement Village.
From this humble beginning, the 100+ Club program blossomed into a nationwide initiative dedicated to honouring and supporting Australian centenarians. Today, it proudly boasts 115 centenarians as active members, a testament to its enduring success.
Max Wheat, Chairman of the QCCN, expressed his gratitude for the enduring support of the program and the remarkable contributions of centenarians. “The 100+ Club is not just a program; it’s a celebration of life, wisdom, and resilience. Today, we gather to celebrate three decades of fostering connections, sharing stories, and cherishing the remarkable individuals who have reached their centenary.”
The special afternoon tea gathered a distinguished assembly, which included Angela Harrison, non-executive director of QCCN based in Canberra, who has played a pivotal role on QCCN’s board. Additionally, three local centenarians, along with their family members and dedicated support workers, graced the occasion.
Their Excellencies, the Governor General and Mrs. Hurley, graciously hosted this meaningful event, reflecting the nation’s recognition and appreciation for the remarkable achievements of these Australian centenarians and the heartwarming origins of the 100+ Club.
The event featured heartfelt speeches, songs by Mrs. Hurley, and the sharing of cherished memories. It was a day filled with laughter, tears, and gratitude for the many stories of resilience and strength that have emerged from the Australian centenarian community over the past three decades.
Max Wheat added, “We thank Their Excellencies for honouring us with their presence and for their unwavering celebratory support of the 100+ Club program. It is a testament to the importance of recognising the contributions and wisdom of our Australian seniors, who continue to inspire us every day.”