Hervey Bay woman turns 110
AT 110 Mrs Miriam Schmierer is getting philosophical.
“Time has slipped away since I turned 100,” the Toowoomba native said yesterday on the eve of another milestone birthday.
“It's not just been a change for me but for everyone because the world has changed. And not for the better, either.
Today Mrs Schmierer is the most famous resident of Hervey Bay's Masters Lodge where she arrived in 1991, a sprightly 92-year-old.
Mrs Schmierer, believed to be Queensland's oldest person, lived through the Great Depression and is now witnessing another global economic crisis with neither its origins nor its effects lost on her sharp mind.
“We've gone down lots since I turned 100. We don't greet one another. We've gone too mad into debt. That's a downgrade.
“Borrowing and borrowing has got us where we are today.
“I never knew my father to buy a thing that he didn't have the money to pay for.
“This world will see a lot of trouble. It's a shame because life is a beautiful thing. The Lord has left me here to warn everybody of what's coming.”
The simplicity of her early years growing up on a Mount Whitestone farm strike a warm contrast with the world she doubts today.
“Respect is gone. Once you lose respect, you slip down. We can't trust one another anymore.”
With picture-perfect clarity she narrated a tell-tale story of a travelling salesman arriving at their farm one day with two horses pulling his buggy.
“My father told me to run ahead and open two lots of gates for him.
“When he came to the second lot of gates he stopped and gave me sixpence.
“He was the dearest old man. He was sweeter than my father.
“We were satisfied with a little money. Today I can't follow anything as far as money is concerned. I'm sorry about the people who are tangled up in knowledge.
“In those days we gave one another one gift. We were satisfied with one gift. Today we want more.”