At 94 years young, Florence Linegar is an inspiration to us all.
Although she can’t skip down the street as she once could, her mental agility is extraordinary.
Her secret to this nimbleness? Staying engaged. “You have to get out there and be involved,” says Florence who lives independently in her Kingscliff unit opposite the beach.
“No-one is going to come to get you, you have to go out and find people and join in activities.
“When I came to Kingscliff with my husband Lawrie 20 years ago I didn’t know anyone. First I went to the Uniting Church and then I joined the Country Women’s Association.
“I have made some wonderful friends, it’s a wonderful community.”
When Lawrie died five years ago, Florence redoubled her efforts to be part of the community, joining the University of the Third Age (U3A) Tweed Coast, Probus and the exercise group Easy Tone.
“When Lawrie passed (we had been married for 67 years) – I had two choices: sit in a corner and be sad or get out and meet more people. I chose the latter.”
Florence was born and raised in Victoria but with the onset of World War II she joined the air force as a WAAF.
It was when she was sent to Townsville (“my mother thought I was being shot to the moon”) – that she met her husband Lawrie, an air force officer.
After the war, they moved to Sydney to work and to start a family. A daughter Gail and a son Ross were soon on the scene.
When Florence and Lawrie finally retired in the late 1990s they settled at Kingscliff after their first choice, Burleigh Heads, proved too expensive.
“Kingscliff is a gorgeous part of the world with the sea and the views and, most importantly, the wonderful people,” Florence says.
“I do keep busy. I go on Probus trips, I go to Book Chat and Current Affairs with U3A Tweed Coast – I don’t have a lot to say but I listen and put my two pennies’ worth in – I do my exercises and am still active with the CWA and the church.
“It’s so important to stay physically and mentally active. Sometimes I just want to stay in bed but I always get up, get dressed and go out.
“I don’t think of myself as 94. I am just so thankful I am well and have so many wonderful friends.”