Maisie makes century stand

FROM living through World War Two to moving her family to the other side of the globe, not once, but twice, Elizabeth Downs resident Maisie Lawrence has seen it all during her 100 years.

On May 5, Mrs Lawrence (nee La Planche) celebrated her 100th birthday in style among family and friends who showered her with flowers and presents.

Born in London, in 1918, Mrs Lawrence has lived an active lifestyle and continues to do, insisting that she’s only lived to be 100 years old because she’s constantly on the move.

“I like people, so I do like to get out to my clubs to meet more people and not just sit in the house,” she said.

Mrs Lawrence married her late husband, Fred, in London, in 1939, right before Fred, a member of the Royal Horse Artillery, was sent to fight in World War Two.

During the war, Fred was captured and became a prisoner of war and Mrs Lawrence didn’t see him for five years.

She took up work at a factory in Northampton where she made army boots for the soldiers.

At the end of the war, upon Fred’s return, doctors advised that the pair should move to a warmer climate to avoid further health complications surrounding the injuries Fred had sustained.

“We first travelled to South Africa and stayed there for about six years, but returned to England after (conditions) in South Africa changed,” Mrs Lawrence said.

“In 1961, we made the decision to come to Australia.”

The pair moved to Elizabeth and stayed at the Smithfield Hostel with their young daughters, Sandra and Carol.

Mrs Lawrence has lived in Elizabeth ever since and has extensively travelled both Australia and the world.

“When we travelled to South Africa we went on the ship, and then again when we came from England, where we stopped in Sri Lanka,” she said.

“I’ve also been to Uluru, Queensland, as well as travelled around Europe and to Hawaii.”

Along with her two daughters, Mrs Lawrence has six grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

She also fostered two young indigenous girls, Christina and Peggy.

Mrs Lawrence said her 100th birthday celebrations made her feel “really good”, and were capped off by some special, royal correspondence.

“I got my card from the Queen for turning 100,” she said.

“My daughter was a bit worried that it wasn’t going to come, but it did in the end.”

Mrs Lawrence’s daughter, Sandra Cave, said her mother has always made huge sacrifices for her family.

“She’s always been a good, all-round family person,” Mrs Cave said.

Tom Staggard

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Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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