By Romy Stephens
The granddaughter of Wandin’s first settler, Moira Burgi, celebrated her 103rd birthday on 25 July.
Ms Burgi was surrounded by a small group of family and friends, where she was gifted flowers and a birthday cake to celebrate reaching such a significant age.
Ms Burgi’s story is well known within the region. Her grandfather, Johann, came to Victoria in 1854 and moved to the then-completely undeveloped Wandin area in 1866.
Her parents, Edmund and Mary, then built a house in Victoria Road, where Ms Burgi grew up.
Over her 103 years, Ms Burgi has lived an extraordinary life. After her father died when she was only seven years old, Ms Burgi and her mother, Mary Lily, had to display endless resilience to make ends meet.
At 15, Ms Burgi started working in her family’s orchard picking berries. She went on to become a mothercraft nurse, working in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.
She also worked in the office of a school offering adult education in Kew and later worked for the doctors at the ‘old clinic’ in Lilydale as a receptionist.
Ms Burgi’s family said she still has a keen interest in current affairs, reads the daily paper intently and will often find a spelling mistake or typo. They said she also still loves a good chat with friends.