Centenarian Eileen Murchie has been unfazed by all the fuss of her reaching the milestone of 100 years on 19th June 2019.  Family members gathered to celebrate Eileen’s 100th Birthday on Saturday 22nd June at the home of her daughter. Eileen was excited to receive all the congratulatory message from Her Majesty the Queen and other dignitaries. 

On Monday 24th June the Gladstone National Seniors (GNS), in conjunction with the Gladstone Regional Council (GRC), held a Plaque setting, Tree Planting and Morning Tea for Eileen at Gladstone’s Tondoon Botanic Gardens. Terry Freyling, President of GNS, opened proceedings and speakers were Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O’Dowd, State Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher and Gladstone Regional Council Councillor Rick Hanson.  All speakers congratulated Eileen on her magnificent achievement and Eileen’s daughters, Merrian Ross and her sister Carole Allan shared stories about their mother. Eileen has had a long and eventful life, and many of her five generations of descendants attended these gatherings.  

Doris Eileen Nurse (known as Eileen) was born in England on 19th June 1919. She was the eldest of five children and was only six months old when her parents, Charles and Dorothy left England to find a new life in Australia. Charles Nurse had fought for England in WW1 and had won the Military Medal for bravery under fire in the Battle of the Somme in France. The small family moved to NSW where Charles became the manager of an orchard. As the family grew up and school started, this brought another exciting time for Eileen. She loved learning and excelled at her subjects and in 1934 she excellence in English and was awarded a Diploma for her excellent work. To this day, Eileen can spell any word that is asked of her and recite the Alphabet backwards.  

After leaving school Eileen worked at the local guesthouses and in 1942, she married Max Murchie in NSW. Eileen and Max had five children Carole (Allan), Laraine (Vellozzi), Sharon (Barrett), Merrian (Ross) and Chris Murchie all born while the family was living in NSW. In 1967 Max and Eileen decided to shift to Gladstone. This move proved to be the best relocation of their lives as there was plenty of work for all the members of the family.  

With her family grown up and going out on their own, Eileen found time to play Lawn Bowls, and she was welcomed as a member of the Gladstone Bowls Club. This sport became the central part of her life, and she spent thirty-six years participating. Sadly, Max passed away in April 1996 and Eileen has since spent twenty-three years on her own. She now lives in a cottage built, painted and furnished by the members of her huge family. Nothing suits her better than a visit from one of her descendants.   

Thanks to Betty Laver for sharing Eileen’s Milestone Birthday with our Gladstone News readers.