BEING born two months premature may have worried her parents at the time but they needn't have, with Mary Petty now reaching her 105th birthday.
Family, friends and staff at Bupa Aged Care at Clemton Park, where she lives, celebrated the occasion last Friday.
Born Mary Eileen Passmore at McDonaldtown on August 3, 1913, she remembers playing at the back of Burwood Police Station when she was 12 near her home in Croydon Park which her parents had built.
Later playing tennis and vigaro, Mary went to St Mary's School, Concord, for her primary years and finished up at St Joseph's School at Enfield when she left at 13 to go to business college in the city.
Mary then worked for a doctor and a well to do family in Strathfield, cooking and cleaning with live in accommodation.
After a long courtship, she married James William Petty at the age of 28 and they enjoyed 51 happy years together until his death in 1993.
They had three children one of which died of cancer in her early 30s.
Mary also has four grandchildren, seven great grand children and one great great grandchild.
Daughter Bev Foster said: "She has always been a hard worker, a loving mother and a genuine friend.
"Mum lived through the Great Depression and two world wars and saw many lifestyle changes but was keen to embrace them, with her later interests including bowls, darts and bingo," she said.
"She overcame a lot of health problems in her life including heart failure when she was in her late 70s and at 101, she had a bad fall and fractured her neck, so we are convinced she has nine lives.
"Mum is a kind and gentle soul but it is her strong will and determination that we feel have contributed to her longevity plus she was always an avid reader, loved doing crosswords and was a great home cook."