Living life to the full

Flo Craze with her children, grandchildren and great-grand- children. Photo courtesy of Bobbie Hill.

After raising four children and living for 42 years in Narrandera, Flo Craze can just about call herself a local.

Mrs Craze celebrated her 90th birthday in Narrandera last Saturday, and her family flocked home from around the state to join her.

“They gave me a lovely party. We were planning it for months; all my family were home.”

Her three surviving children, nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren were all there to join the festivities.

“It was lovely with them all home.”

While Ms Craze celebrated her birthday on Saturday, the date of her birthday has turned out to be a little contentious.

“In all the years I’ve known myself, I’ve celebrated my birthday on the 16th of January. My sister-in-law, she’s been my mate ever since she fell in love with my brother, she got married on the 16th because it was my birthday.

“And then one day, when we were trying to sort things out with Veterans Affairs, I got a letter saying that my date of birth was wrong.

“I had to write to Young, because that was where I was born, and get my birth certificate, and low and behold my birthday was actually the 15th of the first.

“I had to change everything; I had to tell Dr Joe Romeo, I had to go and change my driver’s licence.

“I could have two birthdays, but we still celebrate it on the 16th.”

Mrs Craze first came to Narrandera with her husband Abby in 1966. The couple moved across from Holbrook.

“We had two boys. Abby was a shearer and he wasn’t seeing much of the boys; Ray was then 14 months old and Maurice was six months.”

The family came to Narrandera, as Abby was able to get work as a farmhand. The family grew, with two daughters, Shirley and Kerry, joining the clan.

“I lost Ray, and then I lost Abby in ’89. He just couldn’t handle the pressure after Ray died. The doctor said he died of a broken heart.”

While her two daughters live on the coast – Mrs Craze is home from a holiday visiting her daughters – her son Maurice still lives locally.

“I don’t feel 90. I feel 80, or 70. I never smoked or drank; maybe it’s something to do with that. I have a lovely family. They’re good medicine.”

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