A Century of Song – Wilma Turns 100

February 22, 2024

Celebrating Wilma’s 100 Remarkable Years

In the spirit of celebrating Wilma’s centenary milestone, we reflect on the extraordinary life of this vibrant woman.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Wilma grew up in a bustling household of seven siblings. Her sister Nessie, who reached the remarkable age of 110, once held the title of Australia’s oldest living person, gaining recognition from major media outlets, including the likes of The Project and the Herald Sun where the pair are pictured together.

Despite the 15-year age gap, Wilma and Nessie shared a unique bond. As the first-born, Nessie played a pivotal role in raising the brood of siblings. Wilma’s arrival was often likened to the start of a party, and Nessie affectionately called her Minnie, symbolising their close relationship. And for a time, they were both residents at Mayflower together.

“When Mum was born, a neighbour told Nessie she had a new ‘wee sister’, and she marched up to her mother, and said, ‘You can bring this one up yourself. I’m sick of looking after your kids!’” says Wilma’s daughter, Diana.

In her youth, Wilma found joy in singing and dancing. After leaving school, she embraced a split-shift work life, spending breaks at dance halls. Her infectious sense of humour and zest for life earned her the reputation of being the life of the party.

Wilma married Willem (Wim) van Die in Holland in 1949. Their journey led them to Australia in December 1952, where they settled into life in Oak Park, after building their own home there.

The couple embraced the joys of parenthood, with Wilma relishing her roles asboth a stay at home mum and aunt. After her two daughters, Patricia and Diana started secondary school, she took a job doing some part-time office work.  

Through the years, Wilma’s love for singing has endured. Today, she is an active member of the ‘Mayflower Singers’ choir group, led by the talented music therapist, Zita. Known for her lead vocals in the choir’s regular concerts, Wilma’s performances light up the room, reflecting her enduring passion for music.

Wilma’s kind heart, gentle nature, infectious humour, and delightful Scottish accent have made her an invaluable presence at Mayflower Brighton.

In honouring Wilma, we celebrate not only a century, but also a lifetime filled with love, laughter, and the enduring bonds of family and friendship.

Happy 100th birthday, Wilma!