Eileen a tribute to a life well lived

Eileen Walford holding Jason Jones (5 months), with Caren Walford, and at back, Sarah Anderson with daughter Imogene (2), Dannielle Thompson and son John Walford.
Eileen Walford holding Jason Jones (5 months), with Caren Walford, and at back, Sarah Anderson with daughter Imogene (2), Dannielle Thompson and son John Walford.

The Times first met Mrs Walford in 2011 when she celebrated her 100th birthday in Joondalup, and three years on, family joined her to celebrate another in her Yanchep nursing home.

Born on February 13, 1911, she married Charles Walford in 1934 and had two sons with him, Derrick (born 1942) and John (1946).

John Walford said his parents moved to Perth from the UK in 1976 and bought a home in Craigie, where his mother lived until last year.

‘Eileen entered Bethanie (Beachside) in September 2013 after a fall at her home,’ he said.

She remained in her home for 30 years after her husband died, and has eight grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.

Mr Walford said she had two main interests, travel and bingo, having travelled to Indonesia last June on a 16-day cruise aboard the Dawn Princess.

‘An interesting end of the trip when we returned to Broome and Australian waters ” the Immigration Department pointed out that she had become an illegal immigrant as her visa had expired,’ he said.

‘When you renew a UK passport, the renewal is for 10 years, the visa for five.’

In 2011, Mrs Walford told the Times, ‘you are only as old as you decide you are’, adding she felt 20 years younger and suspected they’d mixed up her birth certificate.