100 reasons to celebrate for Muriel Burns

By Shepparton News

Eating fresh fruit and vegetable is Muriel Burns key to living a long happy and healthy life.

Yesterday, Mrs Burns turned 100 and celebrated the milestone birthday with more than 50 of her closest Shepparton friends.

The Uniting Church was filled with laughter as people sipped tea and indulged in cake to  celebrate and share stories with one of Shepparton’s longest-serving community members.

Mrs Burns said being a part of the local community had been a highlight of her 100 years.

‘‘Going to all my meetings and over the years I have helped in the church, I have been involved with the Country Women’s Association, Legacy and I have a lot of groups I go to lunch with,’’ Mrs Burns said.

Born in Shepparton in 1919, Mrs Burns never moved out of the region and said the farthest she ever travelled to was to Perth.

She married and raised two children and now faces the challenge of keeping up with her six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

‘‘I’ve lived a pretty good life,’’ she said.

Mrs Burns’s daughter Margaret Smalley said her mother still lived independently and had never wanted to live anywhere but in Shepparton.

‘‘She comes with me to Melbourne at Christmas but is always happy to come home,’’ Mrs Smalley said.

 Although her family will celebrate with their own party over the weekend, Mrs Smalley said the afternoon was a chance for all of her local friends to catch up with her.

‘‘It started off with about 20 people and then so many people just wanted to keep on coming, so today is for Shepparton,’’ Mrs Smalley said.

‘‘Shepparton is her life,’’ she said.

The hall was filled with dozens of bunches of flowers and presents from her friends but she also received a few extra special cards from the Queen, Governor-General David Hurley and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Mrs Burns said there were a few secrets to making it to 100.

‘‘I just keep busy, I live a pretty healthy life and I don’t eat chocolate, coffee or cream,’’ she said.