Celcus (nee Owen) and John Walters pictured when they were engaged.
Celcus (nee Owen) and John Walters pictured when they were engaged.

Gladstone woman celebrates 100th birthday

"RETURNING good for evil” has been the adage by which Celcus Walters has lived her 100 years.

Born Celcus Veronica Owen in Mt Morgan in 1919, she is the youngest of three children.

Celcus is the matriarch of the Guinea family.

Ceclus' dad Henry Owen drove Cobb and Co coaches and then joined the railway where be became a supervisor.

Celcus' mum, Mary Owen was the station mistress at Jambin for many years. Celcus spent her early life in the Callide Valley and continued her education at St Ursula's College Yeppoon where she excelled in the academic, musical and sporting areas.

Her sketches regularly won first prize in the local shows.

She was elected school captain of St Ursula's during her time there.

After school, she was employed at the Jambin Post Office as the telephonist. Here she met her future husband, John, who owned the Jambin Hotel.

Celcus and John Walters pictured on their wedding day. Celcus celebrated her 100th birthday on August 6.
Celcus and John Walters pictured on their wedding day. Celcus celebrated her 100th birthday on August 6.

The marriage produced one daughter, Celcus Narelle.

In 1963, the family moved to Tannum Sands for John's business ventures.

Celcus threw herself into community activities, supporting John in his business and community work.

Her garden won prizes and her golfing prowess continued until she surrendered her licence in her late 80s.

Celcus' religion as a Catholic has been her mainstay of her life.

Her Christian attitude of charity towards her fellow man has been demonstrated by the community and social activities she has supported throughout her long life.

John, the love of her life, died in 1979. Since John's death, Celcus maintained her independence in her own home until early 2011 when she moved into Narelle and Bill Guinea's home in early 2011 and resided there until October 2017, when she became a resident of New Auckland Place.

Narelle's family of four sons, Anton, Joseph, William and their wives and nine children have been privileged to have Celcus as the matriarch of their family.

Celcus has always presented herself in a gracious manner, insisting on good manners, correct grammar, and respect for all those with whom she met and "returned good for evil” in all her dealings.

After witnessing a century of events, Celcus has lived through The Depression and one World War, and has seen the great changes evidenced in Gladstone and Tannum Sands.

Throughout her life, she has been the epitome of a lady, dealing calmly and methodically with anything in her path.

New Auckland Place organised a morning tea for Celcus' fellow residents and friends to help celebrate her 100 year achievement, reached on August 6.

Grandson Anton presented her with the Papal Blessing and congratulatory letters from Her Majesty the Queen, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the Governor-General, the Governor, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher and Gladstone Regional Council Mayor Matt Burnett.

A plaque and tree planting ceremony will also be held at Tondoon Botanic Gardens.



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