Lodge celebrates its first 100th birthday

Leslie O’Mara celebrates her birthday with daughter Kerry Pedrola son-in-law David, and grand-daughter Leanne Wood.
Leslie O’Mara celebrates her birthday with daughter Kerry Pedrola son-in-law David, and grand-daughter Leanne Wood.

Resident Leslie O’Mara celebrated 100 years since she was born in Daydown, near Meek-atharra, at the lodge in the RAAFA Cambrai estate on November 7.

Her family moved to the Swan Valley, where they started one of the first vineyards, and she married at 23, joining the army with her husband Bill.

Mrs O’Mara was a transport driver for the RAAF Cloisters from 1942 to 1945, and the couple moved to Rivervale after the war, where they ran an electrical business.

Her only child, Kerry Pedrola, son-in-law David and granddaughter Leanne Wood joined the party at the Lodge.

‘Every time we come over, she is looking better,’ Mrs Pedrola, who now lives in Queensland, said of her mother.

Her talents including playing the piano and gardening, and Mrs O’Mara was particularly fond of horse racing.

‘Up until she came to the home, every day she used to go to the races,’ Mr Pedrola said.

‘When she came here (in 2008) she used to get a taxi every Saturday for two or three years to go to Ascot.

‘She knew every jockey and every horse and every trainer.’

Mrs O’Mara has a grandson in Cairns, who has two children, and another great granddaughter is studying in the UK.