CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS: Carole Allan, Laraine Vellozzi, Sharon Barrett, Merrian Ross and Chris Murchie helping their mother Eileen Murchie at the Tondoon Botanic Gardens Centenarians tree-planting ceremony.
CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS: Carole Allan, Laraine Vellozzi, Sharon Barrett, Merrian Ross and Chris Murchie helping their mother Eileen Murchie at the Tondoon Botanic Gardens Centenarians tree-planting ceremony. Glen Porteous

Special ceremony to celebrate Eileen's 100th birthday

EILEEN Murchie was overwhelmed by attention yesterday during a tree-planting and plaque-unveiling ceremony held to celebrate her 100th birthday.

About 45 family, friends and dignitaries all turned out for Eileen, who turned 100 on June 19.

Eileen's remarkable life was celebrated with speeches by state and federal members of parliament, Glenn Butcher and Ken O'Dowd, who spoke about changes in Australia and the world from the end of World War I to today.

Eileen Murchie (Nurse) was born in England and came to Australia when she was a baby and her family settled in New South Wales.

She married Max Murchie in 1942 and they had five children - Carole, Laraine, Sharon, Merrian and Chris.

They moved to Gladstone in 1967. Sadly her husband Max died in April 1996.

Son Chris Murchie said his mother was humbled by the fuss made of her.

"It's great for the council to put this on for Mum and such a great setting and it's good for her to get out," Mr Murchie said. "We will always have the plaque to remember Mum and the tree being planted for her.

"She has seen so much change over the last hundred years and it's amazing what has happened."

One of Eileen's secrets to her longevity was to eat several pieces of dark chocolate around 10am every day.

Eileen has five children, 20 grandchildren, 47 great-grandchildren and 16 great-great-grandchildren. Whenever a local resident turns 100, the Gladstone Regional Council host a tree-planting and plaque ceremony at Tondoon Botanic Gardens. Councillor Rick Hansen was at the ceremony yesterday for Eileen.

"In partnership with National Seniors Group this is a very special event for our senior citizens to recognise them in the region," Cr Hansen said.

There are currently 29 plaques on the board to celebrate local centenarians.

The tree that was planted was a scaly ebony.