Jimboomba resident Lillian Clarke turning 100

ALL SMILES: Lillian Clarke is turning 100 on May 10. Photo: Jacob Wilson
ALL SMILES: Lillian Clarke is turning 100 on May 10. Photo: Jacob Wilson

TEN pound Pom Lillian Clarke was outvoted when her family decided a better life lay ahead of them in Australia as they got on a boat to Australia in 1963.

Now, leading up to her 100th birthday on May 10, she could not be happier with how her life has unfolded.

“I didn’t want to come to Australia. All of my family lived in London. In the end it was my two boys and dad who decided to go,” she said.

“I told myself I had two years and I could get my fare back. In between that time we got so busy working and building up money.

“This is a much better climate, you would not want to live in a better country.”

Lilian’s son and daughter Terry and Muriel Clarke recalled the two extremes of leaving London at a time when 150mm of snow fell and arriving  in Australia to 101 degree Fahrenheit temperatures (38 degrees Celsius).

The family quickly found jobs and settled at their first home in the south Sydney suburb of Carlton for the equivalent of 400 English pounds.

Mrs Clarke joked the home was a dump.

“We gradually earned a nice lot of money and bought a bomb of a place,” she said.

“It was a real dump, I was hoping we would not have the money for it.”

Mrs Clarke’s husband, Joseph, turned the “dump” into his personal project and replaced the tin ceilings, roof and windows.

The family sold the home for $29,000 and moved to Cronulla.

Mrs Clarke followed her children to Queensland after they moved to the Gold Coast and has lived at Jimboomba for seven years.

She recalls the birth of her children and celebration of peace after World War two as memorable moments of her life.

Mrs Clarke said she has achieved everything she wanted in her life.

“I’m satisfied, you can’t have more than your health. If you have that you have everything,” she said.

Mrs Clarke has three kids, seven grandkids and four great-grandkids.