Braemar Presbyterian Care resident celebrates 102nd birthday, says secret to long life is company


Flo Johnston (red jumper) surrounded by five generations of friends and family on her 102nd birthday.
Flo Johnston (red jumper) surrounded by five generations of friends and family on her 102nd birthday.

WITH Mental Health Week fast approaching, one of Braemar Presbyterian Care’s oldest residents has shared her thoughts on living a long and happy life.

Florence Johnston celebrated her 102nd birthday on Thursday October 6 and said she had always been very social and loved company.

“For me, the secret to living a long and healthy life is singing lots and remaining positive, whatever life throws at you,” she said.

In a lifetime that has witnessed two World Wars, the landing of man on the moon and myriad of world-shaping events, Mrs Johnston said her longevity could also be attributed to her large and happy family; five children, 16 grandchildren, 45 great grandchildren and 20 great, great grandchildren.

Mrs Johnston was born and raised in Sunderland in England, before moving to Australia with her parents when she was 13 years old.

At 18, she married Thomas Johnston and the pair lived in Jandakot for many years, bringing up their children in a house with no water or electricity.

After her husband passed away, Mrs Johnston moved into a small cottage on her daughter’s property before moving into Braemar Village seven years ago.

Braemar Presbyterian Care chief executive Glenn Muskett, said Braemar staff enjoyed listening to Mrs Johnston’s thoughts on living a healthy, happy life.

“Mental Health Week is a timely reminder of the importance of our health and wellbeing, and that our emotional and mental health is such a big part of our overall happiness,” he said.

“As Flo says, maintaining good health throughout life is an obvious key factor when it comes to ageing well, but things like staying active and engaged within the community and maintaining connections and relationships with family and friends are all important and we place a strong emphasis on these things at Braemar Village.”

Mental Health Week runs from October 8 to 15, and the aim of the week is to reduce stigma and promote mentally healthy communities.