Today, Andrew Edward Joseph Kelly, better known as Joe, turns 100 years of age.
After Joe, Percy and Esther went on to have another eleven children. They had eight sons and four daughters, and Joe has outlived them all, except for one.
Joe’s youngest sister, Irene, is twenty-one years younger than Joe, and along with other members of the family and some longtime friends, celebrated his birthday with him last Saturday night in Sydney.
My husband wouldn’t have missed his uncle’s one-hundredth birthday for anything. Let’s face it, it’s not often in one’s lifetime you have the privilege of knowing a person who has reached such a grand age!
The year of 1912 is well remembered as the year of the sinking of the “Titanic”. George V was the King of England and the Commonwealth of Australia was a mere baby of only eleven years old.
The Maternity Allowance was granted to new mothers in 1912, giving them a five-pound “Baby Bonus” upon the birth of a child. I guess Joe’s mum just missed out, with him being born on October 2, and the allowance being introduced on October 10!
Uncle Joe would have seen many changes during his one-hundred years; the progression of cars through the years, aeroplanes becoming common place in the skies, the opening of The Sydney Harbour Bridge, the introduction of television and so many other wild and wonderful inventions that have changed the world!
And speaking of cars, Joe still has his driver’s licence! I was very surprised to learn also that he has only had his licence for the last fifty years. Driving around the streets of Sydney is not for the faint-hearted, so he is doing very well indeed!
Before my husband headed off to Sydney for the birthday celebrations, I asked him to find out if Joe had received a “telegram from the Queen”, as I recall that being a highlight for those who reach this wonderful age.
What Joe did received was a letter from the Queen, and the Governor General, the Prime Minister, the State Premier, the Federal Member of Parliament and the Local Member also!
You’ll have to excuse the poor quality of the photos of the letters, as they were taken with a mobile phone, but I’m sure they will be clear enough for you to see the mail you can expect when you also reach one-hundred!
In a lovely gesture, to mark the occasion himself, Joe presented each of his five children, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren with a 1912 Australian penny.
I don’t know what everyone else thinks, but I believe that to reach the age of one-hundred, in a fit and healthy state, still living in your own home, and having the independence to drive yourself about is something to strive for!
Happy birthday, Uncle Joe, and wishing you many more years of good health to come!! 🙂