Carrington's Inge Bolenski reaches her century

It was party time at Carrington Care today, as Inge Bolenski notched up her century.

The Paling Court resident celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday, September 29 with a special cake and morning tea staff and fellow residents.

Mrs Bolenski said it felt "very surprising" to reach 100 years of age.

The new centenarian said her secret to living a long and successful life was to "always work hard".

"I was born in 1921 in Germany," Mrs Bolenski said.

"My family and I lived through the war.

"My family had to take in my cousins who were living in East Germany to protect them.

"We didn't have much money by we made do with selling items on the street and at the markets to get by.

"My father was more affectionate compared to my mother, as she knew that she had to be the emotionally strong one for the family to survive."

Mrs Bolenski met her first husband, Heinz, in Germany, and welcomed her first child before he left for the war.

"Unfortunately when the soldiers came back home he did not return and it took me a long time to declare him killed in action," she said.

"I later me my second husband, also named Heinz, one night going out dancing with a close friend of mine.

"He asked me for a dance - he was a terrible dancer as he was nervous.

"At the end of the night he wanted to walk me home, however I lied to him about where I lived and was caught out as he knew that I lived near a friend of his.

"I later told him the truth and began to see him. We had two children together."

Mrs Bolenski said they moved to Australia in 1955. They bought a chicken farm and lived there for eight years.

She later moved to Canley Vale after Heinz passed away due to heart complications.

Art has been a long-time passion of the new centenarian's life.

"I completed my associate diploma of art in April, 1984 and my Bachelor of Arts in 1997," Mrs Bolenski said.

"I taught art at the U3A at Liverpool for three years, and was a member of an art group before coming to Carrington.

"I enjoy reading in my room about Australian history, looking after my plants on the veranda and going on occasional walks.

"Most importantly, I love art, as the artwork on the walls in my room are portraits I've done myself."

With 100 years of life to consider, some might find it hard to pinpoint their most memorable moments - but not Mrs Bolenski: "the birth of my three children".

Happy birthday Inge Bolenski!