Muswellbrook's Joan Flanagan celebrated her 100th birthday last Sunday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Joan Flanagan was surrounded by family as she brought up her 100th birthday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Joan Flanagan was surrounded by family as she brought up her 100th birthday.

ON Sunday, Muswellbrook's Joan Flanagan brought up her 100th birthday, and was surrounded by family and friends as she did it.

While the party was originally planned at the golf club, with around 70 people set to attend, current practises for nursing homes restricted Ms Flanagan to her home at Calvary Retirement Community.

Fifteen people were still able to come however, as they hosted a lunch in the courtyard.

Throughout her life, she has had five children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, with several of them able to come celebrate her 100th.

Incredibly, Ms Flanagan only moved into Calvary three months ago, having lived at home with her son Peter - who has been instrumental in taking care of her over the past few years - prior to that.

Despite having a couple of falls in July, which is what caused her to move into Calvary, the centenarian still enjoys having a laugh with people, and can often move around herself with the help of a walker.

Her memory is amazing too, as she is still able to recall facts about her life dating back to childhood.

She was born in Muswellbrook, but as a toddler her father got a job at a horse station in Gundy, prompting what in those days was a sizeable move.

Her family built a house and she walked a mile to school every day with her three brothers and one sister, Marge.

The two sisters still talk regularly, with Marge living in Belmont at age 98.

At 17, Joan came back to Muswellbrook for work and moved in with her grandparents, who lived at a property on Sydney Street near what eventually became Autopro.

Eventually she landed herself a job at the Valley Hotel where she met barman, and love of her life, Len Flanagan.

The two would marry in the early 1940s, and have their have five children - Neville, Kevin, Helen, Peter and Tony - between 1943 and 1958.

Importantly, Ms Flanagan is still able to enjoy the little things, and was more than happy to cut the cake and dig into some pizza during her party on Sunday.

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