On Monday 8th July, the Arcare Caulfield community celebrated Marie Prince’s 104th birthday. Marie was surrounded by her family, friends, peers and personal support team as she blew out her 104 candles.
Marie gushed from all the attention, as Channel 7 and 9 News came down to interview her, for her special birthday.
In Marie’s own words, she has ‘lived a very full and simple life’ and credits her longevity to her fierce ‘independence’.
Marie Prince was born on Wednesday 14th July 1915, shortly after the Gallipoli landing. Marie grew up in Narrandera, NSW and was an only child.
For most of her formative years, Marie worked in her family’s bakery. However Marie ceased her work at the bakery, when her mother fell ill and she decided to care for her.
When Marie was 22 years old, she became engaged to the love of her life, David. However David was sent off to war, before the two could be married, and unfortunately never returned home. Marie loved David so deeply, that she decided to never marry or have children with anyone else.
Marie is a devout Catholic and has been practicing her religion her whole life. Marie still attends the ST Aloysius Church for Sunday service and regular communion.
Marie has also self-published her own book of sayings, titled At Least It’s Different.
In October 2017, Marie moved into the Arcare Caulfield community, after she was finding it difficult to live in a double storey home on her own.
Now, Marie is the oldest client ever to reside at Arcare Caulfield, and is the second oldest client across all Arcare residences.
For Marie’s 104th birthday party, the lifestyle team organised her dear friend and world-famous pianist, Alan Kogosowski to play her a special concert. Previously, Alan has privately played for the Queen and Lady Diana.
Marie formed her friendship with Alan through Arcare. Since 2016, Alan has been volunteering at Arcare Caulfield and enjoys giving talks and performing for the clients.
The pair bonded over their love of classical music and have been doting on each other ever since. Alan has always been fascinated by Marie’s age and her wonderful life stories. When asked to play the concert on her birthday, he was more than happy to dedicate a performance to her.
People travelled from all around to come, and celebrate with Marie at her birthday party. The room was overflowing, as everyone surrounded Marie to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ as Alan played the piano.
It was wonderful to see Marie be spoilt by those around her, on her very special day.
Continue below to watch the news segments: