WITH a delicious slice of cake and a letter from the Queen and many other dignitaries, Alice Harrold celebrated turning 100 in style.

Surrounded by four of her children, Beverley, Leanne, Graham and Robin, and many other guests, the Baycrest resident enjoyed her milestone birthday yesterday.

When she was a child, no one would have predicted her amazing longevity.

At just three years old, Mrs Harrold fell ill with diphtheria, which almost claimed her life. But she fought to survive and after recovering in hospital she returned home and grew up in Wondai alongside her three sisters.

Mrs Harrold was helping out around the family's farm from the time she was five, so it's no surprise  she says the secret to a long life is "hard work".

Eventually Mrs Harrold and her family moved to Greenmount, with her parents operating another dairy farm.

She started working when she was 14 and later met her husband, Arnold Harrold, at church - he sang in the choir and his good looks caught her eye.

The two were married at Newtown Methodist Church in July 1941.

Mrs Harrold moved to Hervey Bay about six years ago to be closer to her children, three of whom also live in the Whale City.

She's lived a life of adventure, from running a dairy farm alongside her husband to travelling around Australia six times.

Family is an important part of Mrs Harrold's life. She was the mother of six children, two of whom have sadly died, along with her husband who passed away 12 years ago.

But she remains close to her four remaining children.

She also has 11 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Her children compiled a book of letters she received to mark the occasion, along with a Chronicle article about her life, with Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen among those congratulating Mrs Harrold on her milestone birthday.

Alice Harrold on her wedding day.
Alice Harrold on her wedding day. Contributed