Hendrika Driessen was surrounded by family and friends at a special mass to mark her 100th birthday in June at VMCH’s Shanagolden Residential Aged Care.
Bishop of Sale, Patrick O’Regan (pictured with Hendrika), Father Bernard Buckley and Father John Readman led the mass and about 80 people came along.
Hendrika has been part of the Shanagolden community for about six years and was thrilled to receive a special blessing from Pope Francis to mark her 100 year milestone.
Her son, Bert, wrote a short biography about his mother that includes highlights including migrating to Australia from Holland in 1954 with her husband and six children. They had a seventh in Australia and eventually settled in Berwick. Sadly her husband passed away in 1974 when two of their children were still young and living at home.
Bert wrote that this was a difficult time for his mum, but he credited her strong faith for helping her bounce back after many of life’s challenges.
“It is difficult to do justice to her life, but if you talk to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren you will appreciate the person she is and the contribution she and dad have made since their arrival in Australia,” he wrote.
“Each one of them is stubborn, resilient, loyal, loving, family-orientated, driven, generous, and hard working.”