Rita Hunt marks 100 years

Rita Hunt marked her 100th birthday with morning tea at Moorland Cottage, accompanied by her daughter June Pieschel, federal MP David Gillespie and State MP Leslie Williams.

Rita Hunt marked her 100th birthday with morning tea at Moorland Cottage, accompanied by her daughter June Pieschel, federal MP David Gillespie and State MP Leslie Williams.

WORLD War I was in its infancy when Rita Hunt came into the world.

A century later, and the Harrington resident celebrates a special milestone on Wednesday.

Born on August 27, 1914 in Paddington, Sydney, the new centenarian moved to Harrington with her daughter June in 2007 after two decades of living in both Canberra and the NSW South Coast.

But it would be the city of her birth which would play the main backdrop to a life forged by resiliency from an early age.

Rita's start to life, her daughter June said, was a heartbreaking one.

"Her father served in Gallipoli in World War I and he was wounded and returned home," she said.

"He returned a very different person, not very nice, and her mother also had an affair.

"So that's why at three and a half years old she was put into a home at Pettersham with her four siblings, and she didn't know her family,

"She was placed in a female school of industry and grew up there until she was 14.

"Her father took her out of the home but he wasn't a nice man and they were estranged until he passed away in the 1980s.

"It wasn't a good beginning to life for her, but she blacks that out and she had a good life after her father left."

Mrs Hunt's life would be spent mostly working in her home city on the production line of both Arnott's Biscuits and Peek Freans Biscuits over a period of 37 years.

At the age of 60, Mrs Hunt would finish her working days with a 10 year stint at furniture store in Seven Hills and has since enjoyed a much deserved retirement.

Throughout the majority of her long life there has always been one constant in Mrs Hunt's life, her beloved daughter June.

And it's a special bond, June said. It has defined both of their lives.

"My mother and I have cared for each other all our lives, we've been together all our lives," she said.

"We've stuck together and never been apart, in fact when my husband asked me to marry him I told him 'You'll have to marry her as well.'"

Mrs Hunt celebrated her upcoming milestone last week at Moorland Cottage, accompanied by her daughter as well as federal member for Lyne David Gillespie and State member for Port Macquarie Mrs Leslie Williams.

As for the secret to her longevity, Mrs Hunt said it was just a matter of living for the moment.

"There's no secret, it just comes with life," she said.

"It's always today, it's never tomorrow because tomorrow never comes."

Mrs Hunt is set to officially celebrate her centenary with a large gathering of family and friends at a function at Harrington on Sunday, August 31.

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