Thelma uses her 106th birthday to share her love of reading with children from Goodstart

by Freya Lucas

August 13

The children of Goodstart Early Learning, Benton’s Road in Mount Martha, Victoria, were treated to a special birthday celebration recently. Rather than the usual single digit candles, this birthday cake had 106, as a Mornington local resident, and former secretary of the Tasmanian State Library, came to visit and share stories for her birthday. 

 

Thelma Kirkman marked the occasion of her 106th birthday by attending the centre with a book for each child, before reading them all a story, and sharing a morning tea. The event was organised by staff from Mrs Kirkman’s aged care facility. 

 

Local news source The Mornington Peninsula News described Mrs Kirkman as an “incredibly humble and generous” person. Local bookstore, Farrell’s Bookshop,discounted the books which were handed out to each child along with some cake.

 

Mrs Kirkman’s daughter told the publication that her mother was “not one for the spotlight”, but that it was wonderful for her to be able to share her love of reading and “endless thirst for knowledge” with the children. 

 

Speaking on behalf of Benetas Corowa Court, where Mrs Kirkman lives, Acting General Manager of Residential Services Melanie Mazzarolli told The News that it was a wonderful opportunity to mark a rare milestone, and that the facility was happy to be part of such a momentous occasion. 

 

“Being able to share her love of literature with the next generation, and seeing the wonderment in (the children’s) faces, is truly a touching moment,” Ms Mazzarolli said. 

 

The News reports that Mrs Kirkman is the oldest resident at Corowa Court, which she calls home after having lived on four continents and through two world wars. 

 

To read the original coverage of this piece, please see here

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