Live and let live

Every morning at 5am, 100-year-old Amy Rees begins her day with a cup of tea.

She never stays in bed. She hates it. Once Amy is awake, Amy is up.

Amy’s daughter, Jacqueline organised for her then 97-year-old mother to move in with her in Werribee three years ago, and upon recommendations, Jacqueline organised for Home Help with Baptcare.

“I would be lost without Baptcare,” Jacqueline says.

“We have respite on Friday’s, and it allows me to organise my appointments during that time. Sometimes I go to the plaza to get groceries and get things for mum when she needs them,” she adds.

Jacqueline knows how important it is to have that respite, especially to have time to herself as caring for her mother is a full-time job.

“I really enjoy going to the spa sometimes too,” Jacqueline giggles as she whispers so Amy doesn’t hear.


Family surrounded Amy on her 100th birthday in early October, and with a turn-out of upwards of 40 people to celebrate, Amy’s milestone birthday was indeed, one to remember.

Jacqueline wound back the clock to reminisce on her childhood and her mother’s younger years.

So far, Amy’s century-long stint has accumulated some quite interesting achievements.

Born in Birmingham in England, Amy grew up with her father who sent her on the 5-week long trip via ship to Australia, the place she now calls home. Amy was 10 years old. Arriving in 1927, Amy grew up with her aunt and uncle and developed a good work-ethic and a love for walking around Melbourne.

Amy worked hard and managed to maintain multiple jobs, working with her aunt and uncle in their garage, MacRobertson’s Confectionary Factory in Fitzroy and as she got older she worked at Oh So Lite in North Melbourne.

Amy met and married her now late-husband Charles through some mutual friends, and soon after, their 10 children came along. With her family growing at a fast rate, Amy’s 10 children then grew to 22 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Amy’s love for dancing and bowls still exists today, and is proof that you can teach anyone new ‘tricks’ when she picked up the hobbies in her 80’s during her time in Queensland. Jacqueline recalls fondly on that time, when her mother could do what she loved.

However, Jacqueline can’t thank Baptcare and the home helpers enough. They allow her mother to be herself.

“We’re very lucky, aren’t we mum?” Jacqueline says as she turns to Amy.

Amy’s life motto is ‘live and let live’. She wants people to be happy, and live their life in peace.

“Mum’s never said a bad word about anybody,” Jacqueline says.

“Just enjoy it,” Amy chimes in.

Contact: Annemarie Watt

Phone: 0428 063 664