Rita Edwards celebrates 105 years of remarkable life

11 January 2024

Rita Edwards, a beloved member of the Southern Cross Care (SCCQ) Caloundra community, celebrated an extraordinary milestone birthday, turning 105.

Friends, family, staff and well-wishers came together in celebrating a morning tea for Rita, extending their congratulations to a woman whose life has spanned over a century.

Born on December 20, 1918, in Narrabri, NSW, Rita’s journey has been a testament to resilience and strength. Rita’s life took her from Narrabri to Toronto, NSW, followed by Baulkham Hills in Sydney in the early 1960s. In the late 1970s, she moved to Brisbane and, eventually, settled in Caloundra over a decade ago.

Rita’s life is a story of resilience, having faced hardships and triumphs. She experienced the loss of two daughters at childbirth but went on to raise five sons, two of whom are Members of the Order of Australia. Rita is now the matriarch of a large and loving family, including 14 grandchildren, as well as great and great-great-grandchildren.

Her secret to a long and fulfilling life? Rita attributes it to a positive mental attitude, moderation (with a soft spot for cakes and the occasional meat pie), her Catholic faith, and, with a touch of humour, “picking the right genes.”

Described by her sons in one word as ‘stoic,’ Rita’s standard response to inquiries about her health remains a confident, ‘I’m fine.’ She continues to engage in activities she loves, such as crocheting without the aid of glasses, using hooks inherited from her grandmother. Rita takes a break from her craft during the winter months to passionately support her beloved Brisbane Broncos.

Residential Manager at SCCQ Caloundra, Karen Wilson has had the privilege of celebrating many centenary birthdays over the years with residents, but having the opportunity to celebrate a 105th birthday is truly special, “Rita’s life is a celebration of the human spirit, resilience, and the enduring power of community bonds. We extend our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Rita on reaching this incredible milestone. May her 105th birthday be a day filled with joy, surrounded by the love and admiration of the community she has touched so deeply”, said Karen.