• Mrs Frances Blight shares her hundred years of wisdom

    Mrs Frances Blight shares her hundred years of wisdom

    Resthaven Mitcham resident, Mrs Frances ‘Fran’ Blight (nee Cairns), shares her hundred years of wisdom with us, as she reaches her centenarian milestone on 14 October.

    Born in North Melbourne with four siblings, Mrs Blight shares her fondness towards her father.

    ‘My father [James Cairns] had a business making saddles for the war horses in World War I. As a child, I was interested in his work, and remember visiting him in the shop, the “Jaz Cairns”.’

    During the Great Depression, the family business collapsed, forcing them to relocate to the South-East Victorian town of Frankston.

    Despite the poverty, Mrs Blight remembers her childhood as ‘happy and loving, with great freedom to explore, play and create’.

    As a bright student, Mrs Blight excelled in language studies.

    ‘I enjoyed French class very much, but I had to leave school early to help out the family.’

    ‘I started working in my aunt’s ladies’ frock store—she taught me how to sew the hems on the skirts, and I enjoyed it very much.’

    At 18-years-old, Mrs Blight started training as a nurse, and in her second year, she met her future husband, Sandy.

    Mrs Blight’s daughter shares, ‘He was an aeronautical engineer for the Australian Defence Force and was seconded to England to work during World War II soon after they met.’

    ‘Shortly before he flew out, he proposed to Mum on a platform at Flinders Street Station, with the words, “I’m going to marry you”—much to her amusement!’

    ‘Not long after he arrived in England, he contacted her to tell her to go and buy an engagement ring—which she did.’

    In 1950, the newlyweds purchased a house in Adelaide, where they welcomed three children.

    ‘Throughout Mum’s life, she served in various charitable committees, with her unwavering sense of community spirit—but she always found time to do what she loves.’

    Mrs Blight shares, ‘I always carried on sewing. When I wasn’t working anymore, I sewed for my children. When they grew up, I sewed for their children, and so forth.’

    Many happy returns, Mrs Blight.

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