Lettie Lockett of Wagga celebrates her 100th birthday, with her older sister watching

When Lettie Lockett blew out the candles to celebrate her 100th birthday, her 101-year-old sister Isabelle Jones was right there beside her.

The two eldest daughters in a family of six girls and one boy, the sisters have always been close.

They grew up on a farm near Gregadoo, and Mrs Lockett has subsequently spent her whole life in Wagga.

In 1939, Mrs Lockett married husband Austin in St John’s Anglican Church and the couple settled into life on a farm just outside Wagga.

They had five children: daughters Sue Ryan and Helen Fitzpatrick and sons Graeme, Garry and John.

Mrs Ryan and Mrs Fitzpatrick recall their mother working hard on the property with her husband.

“She milked cows, helped with the sheep and cooked for the shearers,” Mrs Ryan said.

The Lockett children attended a school with only 13 students, so they recall their teacher boarding in their home, and also being carried for by their mother.

During this time, Mrs Lockett’s sister Mrs Jones was busy raising her own family of eight children.

“We just lived on the farm, and were busy with that,” Mrs Lockett said.

“It was always good.”

After Mr Lockett died and a move into town eventually became necessary, Mrs Lockett settled in Tompson Street, and was living just a few doors from her older sister.

Mrs Ryan and Mrs Fitzpatrick say their mother was keen on having a neat garden, and recall her balancing a broom while using a walking frame.

“Mum even sent us out to make sure the street was swept,” Mrs Fitzpatrick said.

Among the cards which arrived on Tuesday to acknowledge Mrs Lockett’s birthday was one from Queen Elizabeth.

Mrs Ryan and Mrs Fitzpatrick said their mum had been particularly keen to open this card.

“Mum kept asking where it was,” Mrs Ryan said.

Having seen the card her sister received when she celebrated her 100th birthday, Mrs Lockett was especially enthusiastic about opening her own.

Mrs Lockett is now a grandmother of 11 and great grandmother of four, with another one on the way, and her family is helping celebrate her milestone birthday.

She celebrated her birthday at The Forrest Centre on Tuesday, with her favourite meal of roast lamb, which was also enjoyed by a small gathering of family members.

A bigger family celebration is planned for Saturday.

A birthday card from Queen Elizabeth.

A birthday card from Queen Elizabeth.