Born and bred Rockhampton girl turns 100

Joyce Marler is a Rockhampton girl, through and through. Queensland’s newest centenarian has lived in the town for all but four of her 100 years.

A new resident of the Carinity Shalom aged care community in Kawana, Joyce will join the exclusive ‘100 club’ today.

Joyce Marler is celebrating her 100th birthday on 13 February.
Joyce Marler from Rockhampton is celebrating her 100th birthday on 13 February.

She was born Joyce Sarah Lilian Ewings in Rockhampton on 13 February 1922, the second child of Tom and Nellie Ewings, who owned and operated the famous Ewings and Worthington bakery.

Joyce had a happy childhood growing up in Rockhampton, enjoying long bike rides, picnics with friends and weekly dances at Palais Royal Hall.

She was a very bright student. Whilst attending Rockhampton High School, she was ranked in the top 10 in Queensland in her junior year, despite being a year younger than the other students.

After leaving school, she worked as a public servant with the Queensland Taxation Department in Brisbane but two years later transferred home to work at the same school at which she studied.

At Rockhampton High’s 100th anniversary celebrations held in 2019, Joyce was recognised as both the school’s oldest living former student and its oldest living former employee.

Joyce ceased working at the school in 1946 when she married returned serviceman Cecil Marler. The couple had three children and spent all their married life in Rockhampton, except for two years when Cecil was transferred to rural New South Wales for his job with an irrigation firm.

Joyce Marler at the of age 21 in 1943
Joyce at the age of 21 in 1943.

Following the end of World War II, Joyce volunteered for ex-servicemen and women’s groups. For the next 30 years, the Marler family would holiday at a beach house in Yeppoon, built on a block of land purchased by Joyce’s father.

After playing tennis in her younger years, Joyce later enjoyed lawn bowls, gardening, crosswords, reading, needlework, and playing cards.

Joyce has seen many changes during her life, with technology having advanced at an astounding rate. She notes that, “Where my husband worked they had a big computer that would have been the size of a room.”

Cecil passed away in 2002. Joyce lived in the family home her husband built at Park Avenue until she moved into the Carinity Shalom retirement village. She lived there independently for 18 years with support from Carinity Home Care then moved into the adjacent Carinity Shalom aged care – two weeks shy of her 100th birthday.

Joyce says her pride and joy in life has been her family of three children, three grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.

Her recipe for a long life is to take one day at a time, not hold grudges, and have support from family and friends. Joyce says: “Don’t worry about what might not happen”.

Joyce Marler with friends from the Carinity Shalom retirement community, Ina McAully, Joan Hinds and Valda English
Joyce Marler with friends from Carinity Shalom, Ina McAully, Joan Hinds and Valda English. Joyce has lived in the seniors’ community in Rockhampton for almost 20 years.

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