Happy birthday and congratulations to Kit Wickham, Cedar Place resident, who turned 102 yesterday. The momentous occasion was celebrated with a special morning tea with other residents and staff, then a lunch with her family.
NVC Group Cedar Place Service Manager, Joane Leicht, said: “Kit is amazing, she’s a real inspiration to us all, she’s still mobile, involved in activities and a wonderful person.”
Ms Wickham was born on the 20 September 1921 at Kempsey, NSW. She was the youngest twin sister to Gwen Judd and a sibling to younger brother Alleyne Ibbotson.
“When I was 16 years old I worked at the Kinchela Post Office for five years, where I met my future husband, Frank Wickham, who delivered mail around Kinchela Creek,” Ms Wickham said.
“In 1942 Frank and I got married and lived at Kinchela for 18 years, including several years on the family farm. In 1961 Frank and I moved to Kempsey to live.”
After moving to Kempsey, she worked at Barsby’s Department Store in the showroom for 12 years. She also did cloth alterations and made curtains for the company. In this time, she became a qualified corsetiere. After she finished working at Barsby’s Department Store, she went to work at the Kempsey Medical Centre for ten years in office administration.
“I became an accomplished dressmaker and have made many wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and enjoyed making many other ladies clothing and creations,” she said.
“When I wasn’t working I loved working in my vegetable and flower gardens. I also loved cooking for my family and many community causes.”
Ms Wickham is known for her tireless dedication and accomplishments in supporting the Kempsey community. She was the Treasurer for the Uniting Church Women’s Fellowship, the Treasurer for the Civil Widow’s Association and delivered Meals on Wheels for many years.
She was also a founding board member of the Macleay Senior Citizens Home Inc, known as Cedar Place ACF. As a board member, she worked continuously to see the construction of Cedar Place through fundraising. She fundraised, by working on many stalls, around the Kempsey Shire. Cedar Place later opened in November 1991.
In 1997 she was awarded the NSW Seniors Week Premier’s Award in recognition of her fantastic services to the community. In 1998 she was also made a life member of the Macleay Senior Citizens Homes Inc. (Cedar Place) for her dedicated service during the years of fundraising for the construction of Cedar Place.
After 37 years living in Tozer Street, West Kempsey, Ms Wickham moved into Cedar Place at the age of 98.
“I have two children, Darrell and Jennifer, four grandchildren, three great grandchildren and one great, great grandchild!”
When asked how she’s lived so long, Ms Wickham said: “I feel my long life is due to working all the time, a healthy diet, not smoking or drinking alcohol and keeping busy after retiring from work.”