Keeping active and a nightly glass of scotch may be the secret to longevity, if lifelong Glen Innes resident Heather Freak is anything to go by.
Mrs Freak celebrated her milestone 100th birthday on Thursday, September 24 with her family by her side.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, a modest celebration was held at the Roseneath Aged Care Centre with five family visitors having a wonderful morning tea.
Mrs Freak was thrilled to have her three sons - Roy and his wife Margaret from Westleigh, Jeffrey from Cleveland Queensland, and Malcolm and his wife Annette from Armidale - join her for the celebrations.
"We had a very nice little party, and had the family home to celebrate," she said.
Mrs Freak said she can't believe she's made it to a century.
"It feels a little bit bewildering, I don't know how I came to get this far, the years go so quickly," she said.
Mrs Freak has spent her entire life in Glen Innes where she has made many memories of life in the town over the past 100 years.
"I have lived here my whole life, a whole century in Glen Innes," she said.
Mrs Freak's life has been full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and can still recount them with clarity.
She often talks of the roaring '20s, life through the Great Depression, comparing that to the current COVID restrictions, the swinging '30s, life through the war years and raising three sons in the fabulous '60s.
"My mind is still as good as it was at 20, I am very thankful that I am able to remember everything," she said.
Mrs Freak said she can often find herself looking back on her school days, and as one of five children she looks back on her childhood fondly.
"We always had horses to go horse riding, and dogs and cats, you name it we had it," she said.
When asked if life has been all she expected it to be, Mrs Freak was quick to respond with a resounding yes.
"Yes it has, I've had a good life, a very good life surrounded by lovely people and my family," she said.
"I've done a lot of travel in my life, overseas, and seen many interesting places in Australia.
"I'm very happy with the life I have lived.
"One of the best days of my life would have to be the day I got married."
Mrs Freak and her late husband Arthur were married for 60 years.
When asked what is her secret to having a long and happy life, Mrs Freak was only too happy to share her thoughts.
Mrs Freak thinks the exercise she did when she was younger may have played a role.
"Before we had cars, everywhere we went we had to walk or ride our horses," she said.
However she has a daily ritual that may have also helped.
"I have a small glass of scotch every night, that might have something to do with it, maybe it's even the key to longevity," she laughed.
"Try and reach 100, if I can do it you can do it too."