101-year-old Jennie passes on

By REN LANZONnewsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au

AS they say, Jennie Applin lived to be a ripe old age. Her death on Wednesday, shortly after her 101st birthday, has made a lie of the age-old saying that only the good die young.

Her death brought an end to a lifetime of dedication to her family and the community.

Born in England in 1904, Jennie came to Australia with her family at the age of 16 and mainly worked on farms around regional Queensland.

In an interview soon after her 100th birthday last year Jennie recalled, with a hint of humour, the tough life she had led at that time.

'Working on the farm was always a lot of hard work ? especially pulling cows out of the bog,' she said.

Her earliest ambition was to be a teacher but, because the move from England to Australia had set back her education, she turned instead to nursing.

Her great grandniece Joy Brushe said a good number of her nursing years were spent at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane.

She was in the diphtheria ward which she loved because she was with children.

It was also a challenge and a source of sadness for her because, in those days, diphtheria often took its toll on victims.

Jennie contracted the disease, but defied the odds by surviving and living a long and active life.

Jennie, nee Walker, married Richard Applin (now deceased) in Rockhampton in 1932.

Most of their married life was spent on farms around the Central Queensland region. They raised two sons, Harry and John.

More recently they worked their farm at East End, near Mt Larcom, before retiring to Gladstone.

Mrs Brushe said her great grand aunt's generosity to others, particularly family members, was well-known.

'Growing up I had always heard about this amazing woman and the great things she did,' she said.

'After coming to Gladstone, I could see why.'

Mrs Applin lived in her own home in Gladstone until January 2004 when she took up residence at Alchera Park Nursing Home.

Last year Jennie said that every night she prayed the world would become a more peaceful place 'and that I could be a good person'.

By the time she died Jennie was the head of a family of five generations.

A funeral service will be conducted for her at the Port Curtis Lawn Cemetery today from 1.30pm.

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