100 YEARS ON: Gwendoline Page celebrated her 100th birthday on Mother's Day 2020 by opening the some 200 cards and gifts she'd been sent from strangers across the country. Photos: Captured by Leah
100 YEARS ON: Gwendoline Page celebrated her 100th birthday on Mother's Day 2020 by opening the some 200 cards and gifts she'd been sent from strangers across the country. Photos: Captured by Leah

200 birthday cards from strangers on her 100th birthday

IN HER 100 years of life, Gwendoline Page has never experienced a birthday like the one in 2020.

But by the end of yesterday, on Mother’s Day and her 100th birthday, her fingers were sore from opening about 200 cards she’d been sent from strangers across the country, helped by the power of social media.

The Minyama resident still lives by herself in her two-bedroom duplex at The Groves, and with restrictions still in place, she couldn’t have a big “physical” celebration.

But by the power of a simple Facebook post from her granddaughter Alicia Dodgshun asking the community to help, she was still overwhelmed with love.

100 YEARS ON: Gwendoline Page celebrated her 100th birthday on Mother's Day 2020 by opening about 200 cards and gifts she'd been sent from strangers across the country. Photo: Captured by Leah
100 YEARS ON: Gwendoline Page celebrated her 100th birthday on Mother's Day 2020 by opening about 200 cards and gifts she'd been sent from strangers across the country. Photo: Captured by Leah

Her daughter Janice Hargraves said the whole family had had to help her open the envelopes.

“The cards came from all over Australia, from strangers, families, kids. It was absolutely beautiful. A lot of them were also handmade,” Mrs Hargraves said.

“I haven’t checked the letterbox today, but I’m sure there’s plenty more to come.

“It just goes to show the power that social media has.”

Mrs Hargraves said Gwen had “shed a few tears” when reading the kind words from strangers.

The Westpac Kawana Waters branch staff also delivered a gift hamper to Gwen, who bank manager Lisa McKenzie said had been a customer for “as long as (they) can remember”.

“When we heard Gwen would be celebrating her 100th birthday in isolation, we wanted her to know that we were all thinking of her and that she wasn’t celebrating this wonderful milestone alone,” she said.

“We hope we’ve been able to play a small part in helping bring a smile to Gwen during this time, and again wish her a very happy birthday.”



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