A century of happiness as Jean celebrates 100th birthday
GYMPIE St Pat's Villa resident Jean Staines was the centre of attention recently when she turned 100.
A party on the Southside on August 8 attracted visitors from Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo, Blackwater, Goondiwindi, Tara and the Gold Coast.
Jean was born and bred in Tara, Queensland, to parents John and Ethel Wilson.
John had selected a property in 1911, which he called Waratah and this is where the family grew up.
Jean was the third of four children. Her siblings included Len, Florence and Jack. Jack is Jean's only remaining living sibling who still lives in the family home.
Jean's childhood was spent on the family property, helping her mother with household chores.
Jean first met Wilf Staines at one of the district's frequent picnics.
These get-togethers were the primary form of entertainment. People arrived from all over on horse, by sulky or on foot.
After a courtship, Jean and Wilf married in 1937, with the family home as the backdrop. Wilf had won a block of land in the land ballot and with the help of his brothers built their first home.
Here they lived until 1946, when they built a house on a new property they purchased.
In the early days, Wilf went away shearing to help with the finances.
Jean had to do all the chores around the property through the week and saved the harder work for Wilf to do on his weekends at home.
In 1938, Jean and Wilf 's daughter Esme was born, and in 1941 a son, Colin.
They sold the property in 1962, to son Colin and retired to Noosaville.
Here, Jean and Wilf were keen members of the Tewantin Golf Club and Jean served as president for many years.
After her husband died of a heart attack in 1985, Jean moved to Gympie to be near Colin and his family.
To keep herself busy, Jean helped out at the Special School and St Vincent's doing volunteer work.
Jean has two children, five grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, and six great great grandchildren.
In recent years, Jean moved into the Zion Village and resided there until 2003.
As her eyesight deteriorated, she found it difficult to manage on her own.
She moved into St Pat's Villa in 2009, where she is still happily living today.