Fraser's supercentenarian

FOR THE 110th time in a most venerable lifetime, Mrs Miriam Schmierer celebrated Christmas Day.

For the charming supercentenarian with the glint in her eye, her 18th Christmas lunch at Hervey Bay's Masters Lodge was spent with her daughter-in-law.

"I'll take what they give me here," she smiled on Christmas Eve when the prospect of a steaming roast was mentioned.

Mrs Schmierer is not one for the trappings of Christmas.

Her festive focus has a steadfast spiritual foundation that shines through her every word.

"People are taken up so much today with the fastness, we don't have time for our eternal God.

"It's terrible. People are not thinking today. They are so taken up by the fastness."

Mrs Schmierer's Christmas memories live in a calmer space.

She remembers, as a child, scrubbing down the walls of the kitchen of her rural home before running out to find tea tree bushes "for the flies to lie on". The fresh aromas were a bonus.

Christmas was a time when little treats like bottles of tomato sauce and mango chutney appeared on the dinner table, when ginger beer and a fizzy water drink called silvertop were brewed, when a little box decorated with sea shells was a present to treasure.

"Christmas Day was one special day that we really valued," she said.

"We had a little and we were content with it. One present was enough. Now we have everything and we don't value it.

"We respected our creator. You could feel it. You didn't have to talk about it. Christmas is nothing now."

For Mrs Schmierer the joy of Christmas is the joy of life.

Each day she thumbs through her Bible for a verse or passage to encourage her.

"I love my Bible. There's a lot I don't understand but there's enough for me.

"I don't think about age. Life is a wonderful thing."

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