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Hilda celebrates her 100th birthday

An active Hilda Pearson celebrated 100 years with a carriage ride around Grafton. At 99 Hilda celebrated with a Harley ride; her 90th was spent sky-diving. Image: Louis Covre – Grafton Fast Photos.

Dougherty Villa resident Hilda Pearson celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday May 29, surrounded by family and friends.
Hilda Pearson (nee Worn) was born in 1917 to John and Abigail Worn in Bedlington, Northumberland, England. She went to school there and left at the age of 14 to work away from home, doing domestic duties.
Hilda returned to her home town and later married Jack Pearson, a coalminer.
The couple lost their first child John at 5 months old, but went on to have another four children.
In 1952 the family migrated to Australia and settled on the south coast of NSW. The couple worked in Port Kembla; Jack in the steel works and Hilda at the Port Kembla hospital.
In 1983, Hilda and Jack moved to Halfway Creek, south of Grafton, to retire.
Jack was suffering with emphysema, which was brought on from working in coal dust in the UK, so the couple eventually relocated to Grafton to be closer to medical facilities and doctors.
Jack passed away in 1995 and Hilda continued to reside at Clarence Village up until her recent move in November 2016 to Dougherty Villa, which she now calls home.
Since then, Hilda has enjoyed travelling, going back to England four times to visit family, also New Zealand and even up to Darwin after Cyclone Tracey, to see her youngest son John who lived there during this time.
Hilda’s last trip to the UK was with her favourite son in law Wayne, after the loss of her daughter Irene.
For her 90th birthday, Hilda enjoyed a sky dive, which raised nearly $3000 for the Grafton oncology unit, in memory of her daughter Irene. Her grandchildren Sheila, Sloane and Nicole also participated, making it a complete family adventure.
Her 99th birthday saw her heading to Coutts Crossing on the back of Harley Davidson, with a huge grin on her face.
The Grafton and South Grafton clubs have also played a huge part in Hilda’s social life, from which she has made many lovely friends.
To mark this year’s birthday Hilda took a horse drawn carriage ride around some of the streets in Grafton on Saturday and celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday with family and friends, at Dougherty Villa.