A spectacular 100th birthday cake decorated with personal photographs was the centrepiece when friends and family of one special Maranatha resident gathered to celebrate a century.

Merle Fernley, now a resident of our Kallangur Home in Queensland, celebrated her birthday on March 15 surrounded by posters of photos and a beautiful cake covered in white marzipan and decorated with flowers and old photos from her life in gold frosting frames.

The centenarian grew up among more than a dozen siblings on a dairy farm in Bega NSW, where she helped with daily chores like milking cows and feeding the chooks.

Merle turned 100 in March.

Merle turned 100 in March.

Merle turned 100 in March.

Merle received a letter from the Queen for her 100th birthday.

When Merle was 16 she moved to Sydney and became a nanny. It was there she met her future husband Aubrey Fernley at a local dance. At 20 they married and five years later she gave birth to their son Brian. When Brian went to school Merle returned to work at Park David pharmaceutical factory.

In 1977 Merle and Aubrey moved to Queensland to live closer to Brian, and enjoyed watching their four grandchildren grow up. They celebrated 57 years of marriage before Aubrey passed away in 1994.  Merle now enjoys the company of her eight great-grandchildren.

Merle has always been full of life and has enjoyed being volunteer worker at Caboolture Meals on Wheels and an active member at the Horticultural Society. She was a keen bowls player and member of the Caboolture Bowls Club. She only retired from bowls 10 years ago, but now participates in the weekly indoor bowls at Maranatha.