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17 July 2020

105 years of Marie

On Tuesday 14th July (Bastille Day), Arcare Caulfield client,  Marie Prince celebrated her milestone 105th birthday.

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.

At 22 years old, Marie became engaged to the love of her life, David. However unfortunately their love story was short lived, as before the pair could be married, David was sent off to fight in WWII and never returned home to Marie. The truly heartbreaking loss of her soulmate,  decided to never marry or have children with anyone else.

In October 2017, Marie moved into the Arcare Caulfield community, after she was finding it difficult to live in her double storey home alone. Marie is the oldest client ever to reside at Arcare Caulfield, and is currently the second oldest client living at any Arcare residence in Australia.

“Marie is a positive, caring, clever, intelligent and most of all very brave woman, who has captured many of our hearts here at Arcare Caulfield.” Lifestyle coordinator, Gail said.

At 105 years old, Marie isn’t showing any signs of slowing down self-published her own book of sayings, titled At Least It’s Different. In late 2019, Marie started writing the music to her own song with the help of her close friend and world famous pianist, Alan Kogosowski. Marie and Alan have been working together to write the music, while Alan has been practicing the composition for Marie. The piece is yet to be finished, but the pair hopes that after COVID-19, that they will be able to complete their work together.

Although Marie wasn’t able to celebrate her milestone birthday with her friends and family this year, due to COVID-19 precautions, the Arcare Caulfield lifestyle team went above and beyond to ensure that Marie’s birthday was special. The lifestyle team organised and scheduled three Zoom calls with Marie’s family and friends throughout the day, to ensure that everyone could send their birthday wishes to the 105 year old.

During the day, Marie also received a surprise call from close friend and pianist, Alan, who not only wished her a happy birthday, but also played Marie’s favourite song, Clair De Lune for her over the phone – much to her delight.

At 2pm, the Arcare Caulfield community gathered in the upstairs piano lounge to celebrate Marie’s birthday and to enjoy a virtual concert from a local music duo, Jennifer Lee and Carl Perkins. Clients from throughout the community wished Marie a happy birthday, before the lifestyle team presented Marie with a glass of her favourite champagne, balloons, flowers and a special handmade card signed by the entire Caulfield team.

During the concert, the entire Arcare Caulfield community gathered around Marie to sing her Happy Birthday and to watch, as she blew out her 105 candles and made a wish.

In Marie’s own words, she has ‘lived a very full and simple life’ and credits her longevity to her fierce ‘independence’.

“The secret to living a long life is not worrying about things you can’t control and always being kind to yourself and others.” Marie says.

The Arcare Caulfield community would like to wish Marie a very Happy 105th Birthday and many Happy Returns.