90-year-old’s unusual secret to a long life
EATING salmon a helping others is what Tewantin’s Caroline McNaughton has attributed to her 90 years of life so far.
The great-grandmother and “quiet achiever” celebrated the milestone on January 18 at a high tea party with family and close friends.
“It was the most beautiful party I've ever walked into,” Ms McNaughton said.
Born in Liverpool, NSW in 1930, the 90-year-old, who still drives, has done everything from working with produce and milling to fishing and fundraising.
Her and husband Keith moved to Noosa in 1996 and built a house in Noosa Daintree before a cancer diagnosis for her husband forced them into a retirement village 14 years ago.
Having lived an active and adventurous life, the pair used to travel to crocodile infested Cape York for up to six months a year for work.
“One morning we were going up at five o’clock in the morning and we’ve run out of water and Keith said im sorry darling you gotta get out of the boat, when there was 9 inched of water I was back in the boat.”
“That was the only time I was scared.”
Once retirement came and she settled into the Noosa life, Ms McNaughton became a prolific fundraiser for Red Cross, Cancer Council and Sunshine Hospice, just to name an few.
It was through this she met friend of 12 years and her 90th party planner Senka Thwaites.
“She is very humbled, she doesn't realise how much she has done for the community, there are not many people like her,” Ms Thwaites said.
“I don’t expect anything in return,” Ms McNaughton replied frankly.
The mother of two, grandmother of 15 and great-grandmother of 15 attributed her long life to eating well and doing well by others and said that is what helped her spring back after a recent month-long stint in hospital due to a fall.
“They were amazed when I had the fall at Noosaville (in December) how quick I recuperated,” she said.
“I had two of the best black eyes you’ve ever seen, no skin on my nose, no skin across my face ... they can’t believe at the Maleny Hospital how quickly I recuperated.”
Now her goal is to get back on the road.
“I’ve got to get back to walking and driving.”
“It’s hard, I’m very independent.”
Ms McNaughton is also a whiz in the kitchen often making jams, pickles and chutneys but said she never doesn't anything for the accolades.
“I’m just a homely person, I just like peace and quiet.”
Her advice to others: “help one another and do the best you can for people who are underprivileged”.
Now she aiming to make that magic 100.
“That’s the next goal,” she laughed.