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Dairy farmer Ella celebrates 100 years of life

Rockhampton’s Ella McLennan will turn 100 on Monday.
Rockhampton’s Ella McLennan will turn 100 on Monday. Allan Reinikka

MILKING up to 90 cows a day by hand on dairy farms throughout her life, Ella McLennan has watched the world change over the past 100 years.

Celebrating her century on Monday, the Canadian-born great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother moved to Injune with her family in 1919 where her father bought a dairy farm.

"Seven of us came over with my mother and father; I was about six years old," she recalled.

"My mother had six more children and they were all born at home.

"I grew up there and got married in Roma. I lived on two different farms at Injune and we also lived in Theodore for a while."

Ella worked on the dairy farms while also raising seven children of her own.

"Things are a lot different now to how they were back then working on farms," she said.

"Everything was done by hand. I used to ride the horse to the train station at Injune to deliver the cream."

FAMILY PHOTO: Ella and Jack McLennan with five of their children from left Dothery, Ken (back), John (front), Bob (baby), and Ada (right)
FAMILY PHOTO: Ella and Jack McLennan with five of their children from left Dothery, Ken (back), John (front), Bob (baby), and Ada (right) Contributed

The softly-spoken but alert 99-year-old has lived in the Central Queensland area all of her Australian life, living in Cracow when her husband Jack worked in the mines, as well as Theodore, Yeppoon and finally Rockhampton in 1969.

"My husband was in the First World War," she said. "He went to France, England and when he came back, I met him years later while he was living on his father's property in Miles and we married in 1935," she said.

No longer having to keep up with the hard work of life on the farm, Ella likes to focus on smaller things, like her patio garden. But when asked about how it feels to turn 100, she isn't too fussed.

"I told my daughter, 'well now we'll have to plan the next 100 years'," she said with a laugh.

Ella will celebrate her 100th birthday on Sunday at the North Rockhampton Retirement Village with about 80 friends and family.

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