By Tanya Faulkner
A local woman has recently celebrated her 103rd birthday in Boronia.
Irene Jackson, a long-time resident of the Hills, has made great strides in the Knox municipality over the years, donating years of her time to servicing her community.
Upon immigrating to Australia in 1956, she and her husband Alf built their first home in Boronia in 1960 for themselves and their two daughters Lynne and Janet.
Over the years, they settled into life in the Boronia community, becoming members of several community groups, doing their bit to give back to residents in their new home.
Ms Jackson became the lady president of the Bowls Club from 1987-1989, was named a life member of the club, and was also the welfare officer for the club.
She was also lady president of Inner Wheel – Boronia Rotary Club from 1990-1991 and was a foundation member of the Boronia Ladies Probus Club – in 1988, which she continues to participate in.
Her husband, Alf, was also president of the Boronia Bowling Club from 1987-1989 alongside her, and was president of the Boronia Rotary Club from 1981-1982.
Alongside Alf, Ms Jackson formed a social committee for the Boronia Bowling Club, arranging dinner dances with live bands for over 20 years, and helped to raise over $100,000 in funds for the club.
For 30 years they organised annual 5-day trips to Moama for 60 members of the club.
In 1982, during Alf’s presidency at the Boronia Rotary Club, the Boronia Church of Christ needed help to start ‘day care’.
As president of the club, Alf organised for a wheelchair to be donated to the church.
Alongside the club’s efforts, Ms Jackson would slave away in the kitchen once a week to bake three-dozen scones for the church every Wednesday.
The pair continued to support the community groups they have served over the years.
Tragically, Ms Jackson lost her husband Alf in 2012, yet she did not waver in her support for the Boronia community, and continued to donate her time.
For several years she knitted Trauma Teddies for the William Angliss Hospital, and collected feminine products for girls in third-world countries, alongside many other fundraising efforts.
Irene continues to live a long and fruitful life in the community, surrounded by family, with her two daughters, six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
She now lives at Arcare Aged Care Centre at Knox, after moving there shortly after her 100th birthday.