By Olivia Bunter and Sunil Rodrigues
Faith and health are two key factors in the longevity of 105 year old Cloverdale parishioner Sheelah Rudman.
The Lathlain resident – who was featured on the front cover of The Record magazine September 2018 issue – celebrated the milestone on Sunday 28 April 2019 with family and friends at her usual 10am morning Mass.
Daughter Barbara Walther explained that the people at Cloverdale Parish “are a wonderful community that has embraced her family and makes Sheelah’s birthday extremely special”.
“For the past two years, Fr Quynh has given her a lovely morning tea,” Barbara said.
At the conclusion of Mass, parishioners joined the 105-year-old, Barbara and son-in law Bruce in cutting a birthday cake where Cloverdale Parish Priest Fr Michael Quynh Do presented Sheelah with a special blessing and bouquet of flowers
“We wish Sheelah a very happy and healthy year ahead and will come again together to celebrate her 106th birthday next year,” Fr Quynh said.
Fr Quynh said the occasion was a joyful celebration of community who gathered to sing the happy birthday song to Sheelah.
“Your smiling face, your faith and determination to come and celebrate Mass with us each week, gives the younger generations a good example what we can all can achieve.”
Sheelah was born on 19 April 1914, and now, well into her autumn years, she manages to keep active by lifting her one kilogram weights four times every day and getting her steps up by walking the cul-de-sac on her street.
Barbara said Sheelah’s health is very important to her and she never has to be reminded to do her exercises.
“She just does them no matter what happens or whoever is visiting: ‘I’ve got to go and do my weights!’” Barbara explained.