Edna shares secret to longevity after turning 100

BELIEVING that playing bingo five days a week at Merrylands RSL Club has helped keep her alive, Edna Bowerman (nee Appleby) celebrated her 100th birthday with a cake at the club earlier this month.

Born on April 14, 1924, and raised in Flemington and Guildford, Edna was one of nine children, with a brother and sister travelling from Queensland and another sister from Victoria to help her celebrate at a dinner the night before at Guildford Leagues Club.
She said there were 144 people in total and mostly family as she has seven children, 19 grandchildren, 44 great grandchildren and 20 great great grandchildren.
Her father, who was an ANZAC, was thrown from a horse and killed when she was 12 and so at 13, Edna applied for special permission to join the workforce as a machinist to help out her mother.
She was childhood sweethearts with the father of her children Ron Bowerman who passed away in 1975.
“One of the reasons I’ve lived so long is that I haven’t had a man to worry about, friends tell me,” she said with a laugh.
“But I loved ballroom dancing and was a champion line dancer so I’m sure that has helped.”
Though still able to drive her car, Edna prefers to walk from her home to Merrylands RSL for bingo and still lives independently at home.
“I still cook, though my children often bring me meals and I want to keep my independence,” she said.
“I’ve got a few little things wrong but I feel lucky to have my family and friends and I certainly don’t feel 100.”