“Good genes and having fun” helps get Shirley to 100

Shirley Davison reckons the secret to reaching 100 years of age is “good luck and good genes.”

A resident of the Carinity Hilltop aged care community in Kelvin Grove, Shirley is Queensland’s newest centenarian. The avid sports fan and bookworm turned 100 on 25 June.


Carinity Hilltop aged care resident Shirley Davison celebrated her 100th birthday on June 25
Carinity Hilltop aged care resident Shirley Davison celebrated her 100th birthday on June 25.

The oldest of three siblings, she was born Shirley Flower in Camden, an outer suburb of Sydney, in 1921.

Her father was a banker so Shirley moved around country New South Wales a lot when she was a child.

Shirley went to boarding school in Gunnedah, which she enjoyed. She recalls being a good student who relished learning new things.

Like her father, Shirley worked in the banking industry as a bank clerk, but she didn’t really enjoy it, so she undertook secretarial work for a solicitor which was much to her liking.

The days were long for Shirley during World War II. After working her day job, she would undertake farming duties.

“During the war I continued to work as a bank clerk but after hours I worked harvesting hay as the men were all away at war. I enjoyed the work a lot. It was fun,” Shirley recalls.

Shirley’s fiancée, an Australian Army soldier, sadly passed away during World War II. Soon after, Shirley met her future husband Clifford Davison and the couple lived in Sydney.

They had three children – two sons and a daughter – and Shirley also has five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


Shirley celebrated her 100th birthday with her son Andrew and daughter Anne
Shirley celebrated her 100th birthday at Carinity Hilltop with her son, Andrew, and daughter, Anne.

“I am very fond of my family and friends. I have very loving and supportive family and friends,” Shirley said.

Shirley, who moved to Brisbane from Nowra two decades ago, loves watching sport. You will often find her in front of a television enjoying a game of rugby league.

“Even though I was born in New South Wales, I am a Queensland State of Origin supporter now. It is because I became a fan of Johnathan Thurston when I moved here. I enjoy watching football and tennis too, especially Roger Federer,” Shirley explains.

Shirley is also an avid reader who enjoys historical novels and Agatha Christie mysteries. She has many other favourite authors and will try any book recommended to her.

“I have always enjoyed reading and consider myself to be very well read of all sorts of genres,” Shirley said.

When asked what she thinks the secret to living a long life is, Shirley replied: “I think it’s is a combination of good luck and good genes. Most of all, have fun.”

Shirley was inducted into the Carinity 100 Club for centenarians on her birthday.

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