GLOUCESTER’S oldest resident Ivy Blanch has passed away at the age of 102.
At her funeral service held at Gloucester Uniting Church last Wednesday, Ivy was remembered as a woman who was always busy and never had a cross word to say about anyone.
Her youngest daughter Pearl Beggs said her mother had been a passionate knitter up until her death and was a woman who had enjoyed remarkable health throughout her long life.
“I can’t remember her ever really being sick,” Mrs Beggs said.
“She never drank or smoked and always ate her greens.
“Mum loved her gardening and lived in her own home on Barrington St until she was 97.
“She also loved to go places. I think if I’d said to her I was going to climb the Bucketts she would have said ‘OK, let’s go’.”
Born at Walcha in 1911, Ivy was one of 11 children - nine girls and two boys.
Her family owned property at Wild Cattle Creek between Gloucester and Nowendoc and moved to Channon Vale when Ivy was 14.
It was there she met Clarence Blanch and the two married some years later.
In the early years of their marriage they moved frequently, finding work wherever they could.
Clarrie would do fencing and Ivy would set rabbit traps, taking her eldest child Harold with her.
For a time they lived in a tent at Upper Myall.
With three young sons, Ivy had to carry water from the river to wash, cook and bathe.
She would go on to have five more children.
Her descendants include 28 grandchildren, 50 great grandchildren and 52 great-great grandchildren.
After years scraping a living, Clarrie and Ivy bought a dairy farm and also raised pigs.
Clarrie had a bullock team and Ivy often helped cut logs.
The family relocated to Craven and bought a property where the Stratford mine now stands.
“They didn’t know they were sitting on a fortune,” Mrs Beggs said.
After retiring they moved to Gloucester.
Following Clarrie’s death in 1977, Ivy bought a home on Barrington St that became known as the ‘doll’s house’.
She passed away peacefully on June 5.