100 reasons to celebrate

Meet June Kurzman, Geelong’s newest centenarian.

The community rallied together to help the Uniting AgeWell Kalkee Community Murray live-wire celebrate the special occasion.

Belmont High students made a video of 100 of them wishing her happy birthday while the children at the Geelong College kindergarten made her a card. Residents and staff held a party on Friday and her family joined in for lunch in a private room at the aged care community on Saturday – the actual day of her birthday.

Despite hitting the three-digit age milestone, June is a busy bee, taking part in all the activities on offer and making other residents smile. She’s lived at Kalkee Community Murray for the last six years and is always quick to sew on a button or mend a hem if anyone needs a helping hand. Over the years she’s crocheted many blankets for fundraisers or for those in need.

June grew up as an only child on a farm at Taradale, near Bendigo, and remembers her father cutting six acres of hay with a hand scythe. Schooled locally, at the age of 14 she started working for a Buckrobanyule farming family with five children under the age of five! Over the years she helped other families, worked in a sock factory in Kyneton, on a farm and finally at the Bradford Cotton Mills in Bendigo for ten years.

She and her late husband, Norm, lived in Bendigo before moving to Geelong. They had a son, John, and fostered two children, Lynne and Aaron. June and Norm were married for 49 wonderful years, and during this time June knitted and did dressmaking at home, and worked in a shop in Geelong West that manufactured jumpers.

The couple travelled a lot. They had a ten week trip to England and stayed with their son before he was married. They’ve also caravanned around the length and breadth of Australia, and have even been to Uluru four times!

June became connected to Belmont Uniting through Hazel Breguet who used to visit the residents. “She would drive me to church where I became involved with the Ladies Evening Fellowship group,” explains June. Over the years June has also contributed many knitted rugs to the Thanksgiving Services.