Colac district woman turns 100

Colac’s Ida Stewart has received a letter from the Queen to celebrate the former nurse turning 100 years old on Saturday. Ida celebrated the milestone with family members and friends during events at Barongarook Gardens on Thursday and Saturday.

A Colac district woman has celebrated her 100th birthday and reminisced about her years spent in the region.

Ida Stewart was born on April 15, 1917, at a small maternity hospital at Birregurra; she was the third child of Ardill and Edith Brien who farmed at the Fairholme property.

She completed her nursing training at the Colac Hospital and said being able to train in Colac was a great opportunity for women who didn’t want to, or weren’t allowed to, move to Geelong or Melbourne for training.

The mother of three said nursing had changed since she did her training and marvelled at the invention of penicillin and vaccinations to prevent disease.

Ida married Colin Stewart in 1942 while she was in the middle of her nursing training.

At that time the Nursing Board didn’t allow nursing students to marry but the matron at the Colac Hospital helped the couple by reminding the nursing board that there was a war on and the future was unknown.

Colin was in the army but only had short leave.

For their wedding Ida wasn’t dressed as a traditional bride and saved up clothing coupons to buy a dress in Melbourne.

The Stewarts had three daughters, Gay, Barbara and Dianne.

Ida always enjoyed sport and used to play tennis and golf at Birregurra and when her children were born she thought her tennis days were over.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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