Anglicare’s Farrer Brown Court resident, Fay Warwick likes to look at the bright side of life. She doesn’t let much stand in her way, including age. This self-confessed social butterfly scoots around on her walker, chatting with the residents and taking part in the home’s daily activities. Staff describe her as ‘delightful, kind, friendly, and witty’.
She also recently turned 105.
Fay was born on 17 April 1914, three months before the start of WW1, in Walsall England. While Fay admits that her short-term memory isn’t so great these days, she can remember her childhood with sharp clarity. She loved to ride horses. She loved playing with her older brother, Harry, and she was known as a bit of a tomboy.
Fay also loved to dance. It was at a local dance in 1941 that she met her husband Arthur, who was stationed nearby with the British Army.
In 1980, Fay and Arthur migrated to Australia - partly to escape England’s cold winters but mostly to be closer to their one and only son, John who had settled in Australia and now had a family of his own.
Fay and Arthur spent their retirement years in Penrith near their family. In 2007, Fay and Arthur moved into Farrer Brown Court together. Arthur died 8 years ago. They had been married for 65 years.
‘We had a great marriage,’ Fay shares. ‘We never had fall outs and we loved ballroom dancing. That was heaven for me. Arthur and I would go out dancing every Saturday night usually to the local club or to Wenty Leagues. We danced right up into our 90s.’
Reflecting on her life, Fay lists some of the other secrets to her longevity - besides dancing:
‘I never used to get angry and worry if I could help it. I’m a straightforward person. It either is or it isn’t.’
‘I always had faith in God. I was brought up like that.’
“I never watched the news or read the newspaper,’ she adds. ‘There was always something lousy and sad so I left that to my husband.’
‘I like a joke and I loved to write stories and poetry.’ John, who visits his mum a few times a week, agrees that Fay has always been a gifted storyteller.
Fay adds that she liked working and keeping busy. She didn’t like greasy food. She never drank (she didn’t like it) and she never smoked.
In fact, Fay’s advice to younger generations is ‘keep yourself clean and don’t do outrageous things because they’re likely to backfire.’ She adds, ‘Be truthful, think of others as well as yourself and be kind.’
Fay says she’s content with her life and is happy where she is now. ‘I like it here. The people are good to me and treat me well. I like to get involved in activities and I like my cup of tea every day with a slice of madeira cake.’
She says she doesn’t think about her age. ‘You get past it and carry on. ‘Things get a little blurry sometimes, but that’s to be expected.’ So does this centenarian have any regrets? ‘If I do, I don’t remember them,’ she laughs.