Mrs Beryl Dickinson was born 100 years ago in a small Adelaide home, on 21 November 1922, the fifth child in her family.
Two years prior to her arrival, her family had made a life-changing arrival of their own.
Mrs Dickinson explains, ‘My family were originally from England, and they made the decision to migrate to Australia for a better life.’
‘My father was a motor trimmer by trade, and found himself out of work during the Great Depression. As with many industries, car upholstery became an “unnecessary luxury” in Australia.’
Growing up during a challenging time in history, Mrs Dickinson reflects, ‘We didn’t grow up with many “things”, so we sought out experiences. Being able to manage the cards you are dealt with is an important skill to learn.’
At the age of 14, Mrs Dickinson left school to work in a local box factory, packing chocolates and lace.
‘I met my husband, George, at that same factory. We went on to marry for a few years, but it was not the union I had hoped.’
After taking back her independence, Mrs Dickinson went on to find immense joy in living on her own terms and focusing on the loving family around her.
‘I used to think I might have my own children someday, but I have instead been blessed with my nieces and nephews, and the friends I have kept in close contact with throughout the years.’
‘I am happy to be living at Resthaven Leabrook. I am down the road from my friend, and we walk to lunch each Thursday. I am also close enough to my nephew, who visits me here each week.’
When Mrs Dickinson isn’t out and about in her local area, she is keeping up with the many social activities held onsite.
‘One thing you’ll learn about me is that I am never in my room. I enjoy connecting with people, and there is always something to do here to keep me busy.’
Having led a life on her own terms, Mrs Dickinson shares valuable advice to the younger generations; ‘Enjoy life and be independent.’
‘The most important thing for a woman is to be able to stand on her own two feet. Do that, and you can’t go wrong.’
Mrs Dickinson is looking forward to celebrating her milestone birthday in her niece’s home, where she will be joined by friends and family from across Australia.
Many happy returns, Mrs Dickinson!