Kingsley Barridale Lodge resident Hilda Ellen Kemp credits keeping active with hitting century mark

Daily walks: Hilda Kemp.   d455266
Daily walks: Hilda Kemp. d455266

THE secret to a long life is to keep active and positive, according to Hilda Ellen Kemp.

On June 13, the Kingsley Barridale Lodge resident celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends.

Born in England, Mrs Kemp was the second child of five siblings.

She attended school until the age of 14 and later worked very long hours at the local laundry.

In her spare time, she went cycling, camping, joined the local athletics group as a hurdler and enjoyed ballroom dancing.

Her dance partner Fred became her husband in 1938 and they were married for 62 years.

In 1939, Mrs Kemp had her first child, Gary. She went on to have two more children, Diane and Raymond.

In 1952, the family decided to emigrate to Australia for a better life.

When they arrived in Fremantle, they stayed at the Graylands Migrant Hostel before buying a block of land in Tuart Hill.

After 18 months, the family moved in to the garage and laundry, which they called home until the house was finished a few years later.

When Raymond suffered two |serious bouts of rheumatic fever, and with family back home unwell, they decided to return to the UK.

Gary stayed in Australia to continue his studies.

Once Raymond’s health improved, there was an urge to return to Australia and this time the Kemp’s bought a house in Doubleview where they lived for 40 years.

Over the years, the Kemp’s children all married, giving them seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

When Fred died in 2000, Mrs Kemp moved to Kingsley Retirement Village and last year, she moved to Barridale Lodge.

She continues to keep active and enjoys daily walks, knitting for PMH, crocheting blankets for children in wheelchairs and watching the West Coast Eagles on TV.