IT WAS cake and celebrations all round at Moonby House yesterday as Esma O’Toole notched up her 102nd birthday surrounded by family, friends and staff.
“I’m still here!” Mrs O’Toole laughed as she was presented with not one, but two, grand birthday cakes.
Family and friends then sang “happy birthday” and the birthday girl did what she’d done so well on many occasions before and cut the cake.
Mrs O’Toole, tireless in her community activity throughout her life, joined Bendemeer CWA in 1951 and served as president for nearly 40 years. She also taught at Bendemeer Public School for many years.
Her grandson, John O’Toole, had travelled from Newcastle to celebrate the milestone and said they do it every year.
“It’s worth it,” he said. “She lived at home until she was 98 and always looked after herself.
“She was never anxious, never worried. She still gets stuck into her food and loves cake.”
Daughter Trish O’Toole said Mrs O’Toole was a little confused about the number of birthday cakes but she knew it was her birthday when she woke up yesterday.
“Mum thinks she’s 103, what with all the birthday cakes”, her daughter said.
The Moonby House staff joined the birthday bash and care manager Sophie Bailey said Mrs O’Toole and her family provided a positive party atmosphere.
“Esma’s amazing. She never ceases to smile,” she said.
“She’s amazingly stoic and never complains. She’s always full of quick wit.
“I think she’s going to sleep well this afternoon.”
Mrs O’Toole’s sister Lorraine McRae, who lives in Gunnedah, shares her good health and celebrated her 100th birthday last July.