Springfield grandmother celebrates 100 years
NOT everyone can say they have survived two world wars and multiple historical milestones, but Springfield's Emperatriz Del Carmen Arriaza can.
Joined by her six children and 42 grandchildren, the Springfield great grandmother brought in her 100th birthday over the weekend with relatives flying in from around the country to celebrate her.
Granddaughter Susana Qleibo said the birthday was a beautiful event, with the highlight of the evening a family video, as well as a prayer shared by Councillor David Morrison.
"It was so fantastic because we had family from Melbourne and Sydney fly in, with one family coming straight from the airport to the party," Mrs Qleibo said.
"We also had a video that was organised by each generation which showed her the year she was born, when she arrived in Australia and then went through her kids and their kids.
"Acting Ipswich Mayor Paul Tully and Councillor David Morrison were also there and held a presentation where they each said a few words and gave her a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
"Councillor Morrison also delivered a prayer as per request from our family which was just beautiful where he prayed for continued health for my grandmother and for the generations to follow."
Originally from Chile Mrs Arriaza and her late husband Fransisco moved to Luxembourg to be with their son Jorge before making the move to Australia in 1974.
The couple settled in Inala where they lived until 2010 when Mr Arriaza passed away and when Mrs Arriaza moved to Springfield.
Despite a bout of breast cancer in the 1980s where she underwent a mastectomy, Mrs Qleibo said her grandmother had otherwise always been in great health and put it down to her big heart and devout Christian values.
"She's pretty unique and has outlived even her youngest sister who passed away five years ago," she said.
"She's still fine, she's healthy and is still walking around and goes for trips to the shops or to the beach.
"She's also just so full of love, she loves all the grandchildren and is a very happy lady with a very strong character and is very caring.
"We're a big Christian family so she still goes to church every Sunday as well and has always loved looking after her home and family."
Mrs Arriaza celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday July 1 at the Jindalee Hotel and received congratulatory messages and certificates from the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Queen.