MADGE Nichols was all smiles at the Gympie Airport yesterday, with the soon-to-be 100-year-old taking part in a joyride across the region.

No stranger to trips in the air she could confidently say she had "no butterflies" before climbing into the cockpit.


"I've always loved flying, I wasn't nervous at all," she said with a laugh.

"I've had a wonderful time."

With her 100th birthday tomorrow, she's shown no signs of slowing down any time soon.

Madge's plane ride, piloted by her nephew provided beautiful views of the Gympie and Sunshine Coast region.

The plane also made a pass over the family farm Madge used to call home.

"We went all over Amamoor and the old farm which was just great."

Also joining her on the flight were her children and at one point Madge was given the chance to pilot the plane herself.

The plane ride is just one of a number of activities and celebrations Madge, her family and her friends have been undertaking all this week.

"There's been something every day," she said.

"Going here, going there, especially with all the different clubs I belong too."

Following her sky-high adventure, Madge was off to a family lunch, where she'll be presented with her Commonwealth certificate and a very special secret present from her family.

The family was careful not to give anything away to Madge, only revealing a delicately constructed photo album.

"It's a collection of old photographs from her life," said Lyn Nichols, Madge's daughter-in-law.

"There's pictures of her, the family and her late husband Charles Roy Nichols."

The photos in the album date back decades, including a scene showing Madge and her very young children at the Gympie show in the late 1950s.

Madge said she doesn't hold the secret to longevity, but suspects it may have something to do with her love of beetroot sandwiches.

"Well, I have been eating them all of my life," she laughed.

She's also convinced she'll back in the air for her 101st birthday.

"I think we'll definitely have to do a bigger flight next time," she said.

"It's just so much fun," she said.

Gympie Times

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