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As the sun rises on March 26th, 2024, Brisbane awakens to celebrate the remarkable milestone of Valda's 103rd birthday. Born into the heart of Queensland's capital city on that same date in 1921, Valda's life has been a testament to resilience, love, and the simple joys found in family and community.

Valda, the second of four daughters, spent her formative years amidst the rustic beauty of 40 acres in Brisbane. Her childhood playground included six milking cows and a bustling poultry farm with around 100 chickens, a testament to her family's hard work and determination. Her father, a skilled slaughterman, instilled in Valda and her siblings the values of diligence and perseverance.

Education beckoned at Boondall State School, where Valda's uncle served as the esteemed headmaster. Here, she laid the foundation for her future, nurturing a thirst for knowledge and a deep sense of community. Little did she know, her journey would soon lead her into the noble profession of nursing, a calling she would wholeheartedly embrace.

Valda's path took a serendipitous turn one fateful evening at a dance in Caloundra, where she crossed paths with the love of her life, Col. Together, they embarked on a journey of partnership and shared dreams, purchasing a block of land that would witness the growth of their family legacy.

Their union was blessed with five cherished children—Dianne, Ross, Wayne, Mark, and Paul—each a testament to their enduring love and commitment to one another. Valda's nurturing spirit and unwavering devotion shaped the lives of her children, instilling in them the values of kindness, compassion, and resilience.

As her children grew and forged their own paths, Valda found solace and joy in the quiet moments of creativity. Pottery and crafts became her canvas, each creation a reflection of her boundless imagination and love for her family. Her knitting needles danced with purpose, weaving intricate patterns into warm jumpers that enveloped her loved ones in comfort and warmth.

Today, Valda resides at St Luke's Green in Brisbane, surrounded by the warmth of friends and family as she prepares to mark her 103rd year on this earth. Amidst the laughter and reminiscence, she embodies the essence of a life well-lived—a tapestry woven with threads of love, laughter, and cherished memories.

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Isabel Naven

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