ELSIE Gallaway didn't understand what all the fuss was about. To her, it was just another birthday.

"Is it important to be this age?" she wondered aloud.

"I didn't know it mattered so much."

"This age" just happens to be 100. The great-great-great grandmother reached the century mark yesterday.

As a resident at Riverview Gardens Mrs Gallaway (nee Keidge) celebrated her birthday at the aged-care facility.

She was joined by five generations of family who travelled from as far as Bundaberg to pass on their congratulations.

Mrs Gallaway, who was born on July 1, 1913, said she didn't know what the secret was to living a long life but felt well nonetheless.

She said she had not expected so many people to arrive for her birthday and was touched by the loving gesture.

An ardent fan of horse racing, the 100-year-old said one of her fondest memories was travelling down to Flemington Racecourse with her daughter to watch the Melbourne Cup. She said the thrill of having a punt on the races was something that had not faded with age.

When her birthday cake was brought out, Mrs Gallaway said she was relieved to see it had been lit with sparklers.

"There was no way I would have been able to blow out 100 candles," she said.

The year Elsie was born

  • March 12 - Australia begins building the new federal capital of Canberra
  • May 1 - The first Australian banknotes are introduced in denominations of 10 shillings, and 1, 5, and 10 pounds
  • August 13 - Invention of stainless steel by Harry Brearley
  • November 6 - Mohandas Gandhi is arrested while leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa

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