Miriam celebrates 111th birthday

Miriam Schmierer celebrates her 111th birthday today. She begins each day with an “upward look to our Creator”.
Miriam Schmierer celebrates her 111th birthday today. She begins each day with an “upward look to our Creator”. Alistair Brightman

AUSTRALIA'S first Prime Minister was still 500 days away when Miriam Schmierer was born on August 20, 1899, at Mount Whitestone, near Gatton.

If Tony Abbott can oust Julia Gillard in tomorrow's Federal election, he will become the 28th Prime Minister to take office during her lifetime which has spanned three centuries.

Now believed to be Australia's oldest living citizen, Mrs Schmierer celebrates her 111th birthday today at Masters Lodge in Hervey Bay where she has lived since 1991.

During the past 12 months, she has joined the list of top 50 oldest living people in the world, rising from 58 to 49 on the list of verified living supercentenarians — people aged 110 and over.

“But I'm not striving to get there,” she smiles at promotion.

“I don't spend too much time thinking about it. I'm nothing special.

“I've just tried to live a peaceful life.”

Miriam and Grenville Schmierer moved to Hervey Bay in 1961 and lived on Honiton Street where they brought up two boys, Austin and Mervyn.

She has outlived all of them as well as the five sisters and three brothers she grew up with at Mount Whitestone.

Her eldest sister Mary put down a marker, living to be 103-years-old.

Mrs Schmierer will be joined today by many of her nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

“I don't know how many there will be. I wrote and told them don't all come at once. Go down to the beach and come up in ones and twos.

“It's a very big day. I'm just thankful if I'm well enough to get through it.”

She will begin the day as she begins every day with “an upward look to our Creator”.

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