A HAPPY band of Linda Hovey's nearest and dearest gathered in Jaycee Park at Beaudesert today to celebrate the 100th birthday of Linda Hovey.
Ms Hovey is a resident of Whiddon Beaudesert Star and due to stringent regulations in aged care facilities caused by the Covid-19 health event, visitors could not visit her at home.
Instead, accompanied by daughter Rhonda Collins and a diminished but determined number of guests, Ms Hovey and her best friend, 93-year-old Joanne de Koning went across the road to dine al fresco in Jaycee park.
Ms Collins said the group of about a dozen adhered to social distancing guidelines on the day, which meant everyone had to keep their distance from both ladies and non-family members at the party.
"This at great emotional cost but it had to be done," she said.
Ms Hovey and Ms de Koning dressed in their best and looked fabulous with Ms Hovey sporting a tiara and each of them arriving with all the accessories including surgical masks.
Ms Hovey, who lived through World War II and the depression as well as the upheaval of moving to Australia from the UK in 1950, said she understood why many of the people she had hoped to share her 100th birthday were unable to attend.
She also understood why social distancing meant none of her guests could close enough for a birthday hug.
"We're blowing kisses, you can't get the virus that way, can you?" she said.
"Everyone has gone to so much trouble to make this party happen.
"I feel great, no different really than I did yesterday."
Also in attendance were Sue and Robin Reeves who came from Adelaide to celebrate the milestone. Ms Reeves said Ms Hovey and her mother Peg, who passed away just last month, had been friends for more than 70 years.
Ms Hovey said she and Ms de Koning would be in lockdown when they went home after the party.
"But we are right next door to each other so we can talk through the wall, and we can always get together for a chat in the outdoor area outside our rooms,"she said.
"We are lucky we are at least together for this."
Displayed prominently were Ms Hovey's letters from the Queen, the Governor General, Scott Buchholz and Jon Krause.
"Thank you everybody for coming, it's been great to see you all," she said.
"I would have liked to see more people come but it couldn't be. Who knows what will happen in the future so we'll have a big party when all this is over."