Mercy Place Lathlain resident Ivy Ballantine turns 100

Mercy Place Lathlain resident Ivy Ballantine will celebrate her 100th birthday on March 16. Picture: David Baylis d491326
Mercy Place Lathlain resident Ivy Ballantine will celebrate her 100th birthday on March 16. Picture: David Baylis d491326

JOINING the army during World War II is just one of the highlights a Carlisle resident has to reflect on as she celebrates her 100th birthday this month.

Mercy Place Lathlain resident Ivy Ballantine was born in Subiaco on March 16, 1919.

Mrs Ballantine joined the army after receiving news of her childhood sweetheart’s death on the sunken HMAS Sydney in 1941.

“We were all given the 303 gun rifles,” she said.

“We were allowed to go on guard and meet all the guards coming through the gates.

“It’s very rewarding really, you feel equal to the men.”

Mrs Ballantine did her army training at Northam Army Camp in 1942 and worked on anti-aircraft assignments at Monument Hill in Fremantle.

She met her husband George at the ANZAC Club on St George’s Terrace but they were separated for more than four years when he became a prisoner of war.

“He was away but he came back and we settled down,” she said.

“We came to live out here when we got married and we just lived so many years together.”

Mrs Ballantine has two children, Margaret and John.

“I lived just halfway down the street here, I sold my house and I came to live in Mercy Place Lathlain,” she said.

Service Manager Surabh Nair said Mrs Ballantine visited residents of the aged care home when she was in her 70s and 80s.

“As well as being in the army during the war years, Ivy worked in a repatriation hospital for veterans, and volunteered for the Red Cross for more than 40 years,” he said.

“Everyone at Mercy Place Lathlain likes and respects Ivy very much and we’re all delighted that she has reached this major milestone.”