Living life to the max

Brenda Hills has packed a whole lot of living into her life and still has a lot more to do.

The 88-year-old was born in the West Midlands, UK, married Fred, and trained at Business College to operate the Comptometer.

Fred was a draftsman, and together they zipped around on their motorbike, sometimes skidding on icy roads and ending up on their bottoms! On one occasion Fred bought a lawnmower which he managed to put on the luggage rack of the bike and drive home.

The couple has two children, Mark and Karl. As a child, Karl suffered severe asthma, which got worse. The doctor suggested they move somewhere warmer - like South Africa.

So they sold their house and all their possessions, and went via ship to Cape Town. They both found jobs quickly, but left after three years as they found Apartheid repugnant.

They headed for Perth, and then Fred found a job in Darwin. Luck was on their side, they stayed there for a while and moved to Sydney just before Cyclone Tracy hit.

Their years in Sydney were very happy. Brenda worked in the Taxation Office and Fred worked on the Opera House. They bought a lovely house outside Sydney on the edge of the National Park where the boys, who were very musical, formed their own band called ‘Electric Panda’.

At the age of 65, Fred had a stroke and they moved to Tasmania with their sons and grandchildren for a quieter life.

Brenda looked after Fred until his death - and then decided to become one of the 'Lills'. So she moved into Mornington Community, Lillian Martin which she described as one of the best decisions of her life.

She's made friends, does arts and crafts and is very involved in the Lillian Martin annual fair.