'This was wonderful': Unconventional celebration as Pinjarra local celebrates 100th birthday in lockdown

A letter from the Queen, a basket of flowers and a serenade of happy birthday booming from the parking lot greeted Bedingfeld Park resident May Elverd as the doors to the aged care facility swung open on Thursday morning.

It was an unconventional way for the Pinjarra resident to mark 100 years on this earth, as daughters Joan Aggiss and Elaine Lynch, along with their husbands Richard and John, did what they could to celebrate their mother's milestone in boisterous fashion.

With the lodge on a full lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, the quartet weren't allowed inside the premises to hug their mum and lay a kiss on her cheek as she reached her remarkable 100th birthday.

But that didn't stop them from singing with gusto and putting a smile on May's face, as she evidently enjoyed their makeshift choir.

May Elverd turned 100 years young on Thursday. Photo: Justin Rake.

May Elverd turned 100 years young on Thursday. Photo: Justin Rake.

The family were granted enough time to give their mum some special letters written to her by the Queen, the Prime Minister, the Governor General and many other dignitaries, all the while observing the social distancing that has become a necessity at aged care homes across the country.

"I suppose you could look at this as a bit sad but I actually think this was wonderful," Elaine said.

"To see mum looking so happy is just fantastic, and we know the Bedingfeld Park staff are lovely and they will make this day as special as they can for her so we're rapt.

"Obviously we had a different celebration - a much bigger one with all the family - organised for the day, but no doubt we will get everyone together and she will be able to enjoy a little champagne when this is all over."

Joan Aggiss and Elaine Lynch celebrate their mum May's 100th birthday as best they can. Photo: Justin Rake.

Joan Aggiss and Elaine Lynch celebrate their mum May's 100th birthday as best they can. Photo: Justin Rake.

Oddly enough, just years before she was born, May's mother was one of many to isolate during the Spanish flu pandemic.

But described by her daughters as an "old time West Australian", she has gone on to live a life full of memories.

May grew up in the depression and spent two years serving in the Land Army during World War II, before eventually marrying her beloved husband the late Don Elverd.

She spent time owning and operating a fruit shop on Albany's York Street following that, and eventually grew a family that now consists of two daughters, four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson before retiring in Mandurah in 2001.

It may have been a short time to spend with just a few members of the family she holds so dearly, but no doubt May and her flock will reconnect as soon as they can.