Australia's oldest living person: Still living it up at age 110

Happy 110th birthday: Agnes 'Nessie' Kluckhenn, right, and her 'baby' sister Williamina, 95. Photo: Eddie Jim
Happy 110th birthday: Agnes 'Nessie' Kluckhenn, right, and her 'baby' sister Williamina, 95. Photo: Eddie Jim

Some people would be happy to have all their marbles at age 70, but on her 110th birthday, Nessie Kluckhenn was not just switched on, she was cheeky.

''It's time I was looking for a third husband,'' she declared to a roomful of amused relatives at Mayflower aged care home in Brighton on Monday. ''I feel fantastic.''

Mrs Kluckhenn, believed to be Australia's oldest living person, held court behind posh Happy Birthday cards from the Queen, the Prime Minister and the Governor-General.

Earlier a piper in a kilt played for her and she was presented with an enormous birthday cake.

She claimed she had not had any whisky, but her relatives tittered. ''I think she's got some hidden behind the telly,'' said one.

Living it up: Nessie Kluckhenn (waving) and her family enjoy her 110th birthday party.

Living it up: Nessie Kluckhenn (waving) and her family enjoy her 110th birthday party.

Despite migrating from Scotland 72 years ago, her Glaswegian accent is thicker than Billy Connolly's.

Asked how she's lived this long, she said, "It's because I'm such a lovely bugger.'' Sure she didn't smoke - she says she was ''too mean'' to buy them. ''Well I was born Scottish.''

She did admit, however, to being a hopeless chocoholic.

Relatives flew in from Queensland and Scotland. Some she had not seen for 30 years.

Not that she is starved for company. Her sister, Williamina, a wee lass of 95, lives a few rooms down.

When Williamina was a baby, and Nessie a teenager, their mother used to insist Nessie bring Williamina as a chaperone on dates. Their father fought in the Great War, and times were tough as the eldest of seven siblings in the Glasgow suburb of St George's Cross.

Agnes 'Nessie' Kluckhenn as a newlywed in Dover, England, in the 1930s.

Agnes 'Nessie' Kluckhenn as a newlywed in Dover, England, in the 1930s.

Nessie's niece Diana van Die says Nessie had to leave school at 12 to work.

''Had she had the opportunities we have today, she could have done anything.''

As a young woman, Nessie lived in New York for five years during prohibition, where she assures us she had a very good time.

Back in Scotland, she married a soldier, Jimmy Hogarth.

They lived in Dover in the 1930s.

She remembers being in London as Jewish refugees streamed in, and then being in Glasgow when it was bombed during World War II.

The couple migrated to Melbourne in 1947 and lived in the northern suburb of Coburg - she found the place so desolate (her term was ''awfully dead'') she wanted to return to Scotland.

But they soon settled in; Jimmy worked for an engineering firm and Nessie found employment at Myer and later owned a card shop in Degraves Street subway.

Nessie married her second husband, Carl Kluckhenn, in 1978, three years after Jimmy died, and she moved into the Mayflower aged care home in when she was 92. Carl died in 2005.

Dr van Die says while Nessie never had children, she was a devoted "Auntie Ness" to her dozens of nieces, nephews and their offspring.

Ms Kluckhann says ''never in 1000 years'' did she expect to live to 110.

Williamina said, of her sister, "She's always looked after herself, but she also enjoys herself''.

This story She's likes a drop of whisky and is a 'chocoholic': Nessie, aged 110 first appeared on Bunbury Mail.