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Healthy living helps Elsie reach 100

by
May 31, 2017

Celebration: Granddaughter Lisa Jackel and son Geoff Jackel helped Elsie celebrate with a morning tea on Friday.

Special day: Family and friends gathered for Elsie's 100th birthday on Sunday. (Back) Graeme Jackel, Joshua Jackel, Brian Jackel, Lisa Jackel, Geoff Jackel, Ken Main (front) Len Jackel, Elsie Jackel, Elsie's brother Ron Main and good friends Mavis and Norm Pearce.

The number of candles on Elsie Jackel’s birthday cake may have almost been considered a fire hazard, but it’s not every day someone celebrates their 100th birthday.

Mrs Jackel from Cobram turned the magical number on Monday, but celebrated early with a morning tea party last Friday with a few friends and family members.

Moira Shire Mayor Gary Cleveland and Cr Ed Cox also dropped in to present her with flowers and congratulations.

Mrs Jackel’s birthday was then officially celebrated at a lunch with family and friends on Sunday.

She also received a number of cards offering her congratulations on the milestone, including from the Queen, the Prime Minister, the Commonwealth and state governors-general, Federal Member for Murray Damian Drum and State Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy.

Mrs Jackel and husband Len moved to Cobram in 1954 and they have lived here for the 63 years since (Mr Jackel is 91).

‘‘I grew up in Bamawm on the family farm — we lived in two or three other places, but Cobram has been the main one,’’ Mr Jackel said.

‘‘It was a dairy farm and I had horses as well — in that Lisa takes after me.’’

She was married in 1947 and had four children: Raymond, who died in an accident aged 11, Graeme, Geoff and Glennis.

She’s also got seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Talented musicians, she and her husband ran two old-time dance bands, which played several times a week across the district.

Mrs Jackel played the piano and piano accordion, although gave the latter up due to her back, while Mr Jackel played the guitar.

‘‘One of our bands was called The Gay Notes, but I wasn’t really a fan of that, so we changed it to Jackels Band,’’ she said.

‘‘We also played in the Senior Citizens band.’’

She also taught music to many children in the region, and played at many church concerts, especially during her time in Bamawm.

Mrs Jackel is also an accomplished artist and many of her works still hang in her family’s homes.

She was famed for her intricate sketchwork, which won a number of awards, including a sketched lion’s head which won three or four prizes.

Mrs Jackel attributed her long life to a healthy lifestyle.

‘‘The doctors said to both of us, the reason you’ve lived so long is because you haven’t drunk or smoked,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve never been a drinker and never tasted alcohol in my life; my parents weren’t drinkers either.’’

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