Celebrating a fortunate life of 99 years

Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Zena Smith celebrated her 99th birthday on Monday.
Camera IconZena Smith celebrated her 99th birthday on Monday. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

The Bunbury Silos building was noisier than usual on Monday as residents stood on their balconies to wish Zena Smith a special happy birthday.

Celebrating her 99th birthday, Mrs Smith said she has had a wonderful life so far.

After completing her schooling she undertook a physical education course at Adelaide University.

“I started studying in Adelaide where I lived, then the war began and I joined the air force and was part of it for three years,” she said.

“During that time I met my husband.”

But Mrs Smith’s love story was not a classic one.

“After the war ended I didn’t get to see him for a couple of years,” she said.

“Then we happened to catch up again, got married and had two children.”

After having children, Mrs Smith took to being an at-home mum before moving to Switzerland.

“My husband was an airline pilot, so we spent seven and a half years in Zurich and it was one of the highlights of my life,” she said.

“At the time my son was two years old and my daughter was six.

“They went to the local school for a while before we decided we wanted them to be Australians not Swiss so we moved back to Australia and lived on my father’s farm in Vasse.”

Just one year off her milestone birthday, Mrs Smith said she was fortunate to have lived such an interesting life.

“I’m very lucky to be so healthy at my age,” she said.

“At times my life has been hard, as I’m sure it is for everyone.

“I was blessed with a loving husband, two beautiful children and a handful of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.”

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