Still doing fine at 104 years of age

Dot Devine turned 104 on Friday and celebrated her remarkable milestone at the Peninsula Villages Umina based facility with friends, family and staff.


Dorothea Devine, or Dot as she is affectionately known, is certainly young at heart and has had a rich life, despite sadly outliving her dear husband Henry.

She has not only lived through the Great Depression but both World Wars and has lived through the reign of 24 Australian Prime Ministers. Dot was one of nine children, is the mother of two daughters and is both a grandmother and great grandmother.


“As one of nine children we had to do many things around the house and especially so as I was predominately raised by my mother as my father died when I was just 7. After raising my two daughters I also raised my two grandchildren from age 4 and 5 which kept me young and active,” explained Dot.


While she is described by friends as optimistic who lives every day to the fullest, Dot says she isn’t sure about the secret to living a long life but thinks it comes down to keeping the mind active.


“I have always had a strong passion for reading and love a good crossword challenge,” said Dot.


Dot officially turned 104 on Friday 24 November and celebrated with a special morning tea with other residents and members of her family. Peninsula Villages also gifted her with a very special chocolate bouquet and huge cake for everyone to enjoy.


“Dot is a special resident at Don Leggett House who brings a smile to the faces of other residents and our staff on a regular basis,” explained Peninsula Villages CEO Shane Neaves.


“While Dot wanted a quiet affair it was only fitting to ensure that we marked this incredible milestone with a few sweet treats. Our centenary tradition is to gift our residents with a bouquet of flowers representative of their age, but with Dot receiving a huge bunch of gerberas for the last 4 years, we reverted to one of her favourite things, some good quality chocolate,” he added.


Dot is a resident in Peninsula Villages’ Don Leggett House and was one of the first residents to have moved in 13 years ago. Since that time she has made many friends and is regularly visited by her nephew and daughters Kay and Barbara.


Reminiscing about her life on Friday, Dot spoke warmly about her days working as a machinist, where she made lounges and mattresses back in the late 1930s, she was also an active volunteer doing charity work for Meals on Wheels and Legacy in her older age.


“I loved working and had a great interest in sewing and knitting once I had children. I was also a champion dart player and enjoyed playing tennis and have a fond interest in watching the professional tennis tournaments as well as listening to Judy Garland,” said Dot.


With her 104th birthday now reached, Dot is looking forward to more great memories and to enjoying less focus on her.


“When we were recounting Dot’s incredible achievements on Friday, she interrupted us and said, I charge by the hour you know!” explained Shane.


28 November 2017.