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Book reading at Corowa Court brings generations together for 106th birthday

5th August 2019

Benetas Corowa Court resident, Thelma Kirkman marked her 106th birthday this week by sharing her love of literature with 21 children from the local kindergarten.

Mrs Kirkman worked as Secretary of Tasmanian State Library and was delighted to have had the opportunity to mark her 106th birthday in a way that promoted the importance of reading from a young age.

Described as an incredibly humble and generous person, Mrs Kirkman was adamant not to make a fuss, so Benetas staff organised the kindergarten reading in line with her passion for sharing knowledge with others.

Books were purchased by Benetas from the local book store, Farrell’s Bookshop, who generously discounted them to support the event. These were then handed out to each child over an array of cakes.

Mrs Kirkman’s daughter was incredibly grateful to Benetas staff at Corowa Court for arranging an event that was so true to her mother.

“Mum has never been one for the spotlight,” she said. “It’s been wonderful that she’s been able to celebrate by sharing her love for reading and her endless thirst for knowledge with the local kindergarten children.”

With all of the children being a century younger than Mrs Kirkman, it was a special moment for all in the room.

Melanie Mazzarolli, Acting General Manager of Residential Services at Benetas said occasions like this don’t come around often.

“It’s incredible that we are able to celebrate this amazing milestone and give Thelma a memorable experience aligned with her passion for books,” said Mrs Mazzarolli.

“Being able to share her love of literature with the next generation, and seeing the wonderment in their faces is truly a touching moment.

“As the oldest resident at Corowa Court, Mrs Kirkman has lived on four continents, through two world wars and is in great shape with energy and curiosity that is unwavering.”

“I’m so glad that Benetas was able to bring Thelma together with the children to bond over her life’s passion.”