LIFE WELL LIVED: Lillian Mavis Aitken, pictured on her 100th birthday, lived life to the fullest for 102 years.
Lillian Aitken, wholived through many of the 20th century’s most significant events, has died at the aged of 102.
Born in Rochester on October 30, 1914 to Lillian and Edward Hawley, she had two older brothers Edward and Frank –now both deceased.
Mrs Aitken spent the first two years of her life in Rochester where her father operated a grocery store, a tradition of shop ownership that would continue when the family moved to Bendigo.
Her father was a businessman who owned several grocery stores in Bendigo and also dabbled in the real estate.
As such, the Hawley family moved house frequently and Mrs Aitken often spoke fondly of her childhood homes, especially “Winola” on the corner of High and Myrtle streets in Golden Square.
One of the moves came about after a rotunda her father sat in each morningwas swallowedby a mine shaft opening up, causingMrs Aitken’s mother to refuse to live there anymore.
As Mrs Aitken grew older, she assisted her mother in the family home. In a sign of the times, her father would not allow her to work outside the family home.
She cooked on wood stoves and scrubbed floors on her hands and knees, sayingsimply “that’s what you did back then” when asked about it in her latter years.
Mrs Aitken attended the Bendigo girls school but finished her education at home when her father decided to home school her. She completed her matriculation.
As a young woman, Mrs Aitken hadan active social life, attending parties and dances. She especially loved roller skating. At the age of 18, she met George Aitken and the young couple began building a life together long before they were married.
They operated a small grocery store on the corner of Nolan and McCrae streets opposite Lake Weeroona and for four years each would arrive early from their respective homes, open the doors and set about establishing their own identity in the grocery business.
It became known as Aitkens Grocery Store and they operated it for 44 years until the mid-1970s when they retired and moved to Wallace Avenue, Flora Hill.
They married at the McKenzie Street Methodist Church in Golden Square and on September 16, 1939 they welcomed their first child William –or Bill –as he became known. Four years later, on April 30, 1943 their daughter Glenda was born.
While working hard in the shop, Mrs Aitken still managed to make time to pursue her love of gardening, tennis, lawn bowls and golf, winning many trophies over the years.
Every winter Mrs Aitken and her husband would migrate from Bendigo to Hervey Bay in Queensland to escape the cold.
These annual getaways continued until her husband passed away in 1988. Her daughter Glenda would die of cancer in 2002.
At the age of 90, Mrs Aitken underwent a hip replacement that gave her another 12 years of independence.
Mrs Aitken passed away on December 3, 2016. She lived through the reigns of 26 Australian prime ministers, two world wars and a depression, which left an indelible mark.
She is survived by her son Bill, six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.