Mother of eight, champion gardener and former farmer's wife, Hope Gordon, a long-time resident of Guyong in the NSW Central West, has marked her 100th birthday with a week of parties.
Hope, who only stopped driving at 95, is eagerly awaiting to be among the first centenarians to receive a congratulatory letter from King Charles III.
HammondCare At Home General Manager Bay Warburton congratulated Hope on reaching such a remarkable birthday. “It has been a wonderful privilege for HammondCare At Home to support Hope to continue to live at the family property for the past 15 years. We wish her a wonderful birthday,” Mr Warburton said.
Born in Dorrigo on the NSW North Coast, the then Hope Johnson studied dressmaking and worked as a dental nurse and at Scarba House for Infants and Children in Bondi before marrying pastoralist George Gordon from Newbridge in 1945. The couple later moved to Guyong in 1951 while Hope was expecting their fourth child.
The couple had eight children: seven girls and a boy. There are also seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and another grandchild on the way.
George sadly passed away in 1991. Today, daughter Georgina lives in as Hope’s main carer, along with their pet peacock Andrew, and Georgina's dog Bonnie. The other siblings also provide support on a regular basis.
Hope continues to live on the Guyong family property ‘Bethune’ with the support of HammondCare At Home. She has been a HammondCare At Home client since 2007, and was one of the first clients in the region.
While Hope officially celebrates her centenary on October 18, Georgina said there will be a number of parties this week. “We’re celebrating Mum’s birthday with three smaller events - an afternoon tea with her church associates, a morning tea with close friends, and a family get-together,” Georgina said.
“She’s already received an acknowledgment from the Prime Minister and the NSW Premier along with several other dignitaries, but the most anticipated one she’s still waiting on is from HRH King Charles III.”
Hope enjoys regular visits from HammondCare’s local Pastoral Care Coordinator, Suzanne Kissell. “Hope has a deep Christian faith and is still very connected with the world and knows what is going on at a global level,” Suzanne said. “One of her favourite photos is of her, sitting on her father’s knee when she was a little girl, with the Bible open on their laps.
“Hope is a real presence, who has seen tragedy including the depression, war and severe droughts. She’s lived a full life, supporting her husband George on the sheep and cattle property. When George died, she continued her interest in the property with their son, Bruce, who took over its running.
“She remembers walking down the street with a friend when the start of World War II was officially announced.”
HammondCare At Home Care Manager Kathryn Clark says HammondCare’s support for Hope has evolved as her needs have changed. “Hope was still driving when she first started to receive care, in her late eighties. We provided help around the house to start with. When she stopped driving at the age of 95, our team members would take her shopping.
“We provide personal care support now, helping her get started for the day. Georgina, who is her main carer, then gets a break.”
Georgina said the care team does a wonderful job when they arrive in the mornings, showering Mum, making her bed, and getting her breakfast. “It gives me peace of mind and I get to focus on maintaining her big garden – I know how important it is to her. Mum’s love of gardening has seen her win numerous competitions through theSydney Morning Heraldover the years."