FAMILY FOCUS: Leila Lister with her twin great grandson Cody Cockburn and youngest granddaughter Anita Tillman who share the same birth date.
FAMILY FOCUS: Leila Lister with her twin great grandson Cody Cockburn and youngest granddaughter Anita Tillman who share the same birth date. Tanya Easterby

100 years of memories: Leila Lister has seen it all before

OVER 100 years many changes have occurred, eras and trends have come and gone, and Mrs Leila Lister has seen it all.

She has seen the development from horse and cart to computerised cars, from slate boards to pens and everything in between.

Though some of her childhood memories are vague, she remembers her sister, Del, fondly.

"Growing up I was best friends with my sister," Mrs Lister said.

"I learnt many things from my sister.

"She taught me most of the skills I have, like sewing and cooking."

Mrs Lister was married in 1940 in Rose Bay, New South Wales, to Dudley Lister. Her first born, Muriel, arrived in 1941, followed by her second child, Margaret, in 1943.

In 1947 John was born and Fred completed the family in 1948.

Mr Lister was in the Air Force during the war and when he returned from his duties, they bought a farm at Kin Kin.

On the farm Mrs Lister raised her four children with no power, washing by hand and doing home cooking.

It was a simple life but a happy one.

"I remember cows and calves and milking every day and night by hand," Mrs Lister said.

"We only ran about 80 head because we were always in drought or it was flooding.

"I had an orchard in the paddock and we grew our own fruit and vegies.

"I made jelly from my Guava tree which was pretty popular.

"We used our own milk and we rarely bought any groceries."

Her daughter, Margaret Bufi, reflected on life on the farm with her mum.

"There were always plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and plenty on the table," Mrs Bufi said.

"Everything was about food and love and Mum made sure we had all we needed.

"She was very sustainable, everything was preserved and she would sew every piece of clothing for us and Dad."

All of her children have lived farming lives and her daughters are avid sewers, while her sons enjoy a spot of fishing, skills which are sure to pass through the generations.

After life on the farm, Mrs Lister retired to Noosa with her husband in the 1970s.

Sadly, Mr Lister passed away in 1973 and four years ago Mrs Lister moved to Lister Nursing Home in Gympie, living a more relaxed life than her earlier years.

Mrs Lister's most treasured life is love.

She is a grandmother to 17 grandchildren, 41 great great grandchildren and two great great great grandchildren.

"She holds onto her love of family - that's where her favourite time is spent," Mrs Bufi said.

"She's very attached to every member and she always keeps up to date with everything that is happening in our lives. We visit regularly and the children try and visit monthly."

She may not have thought about a New Year's resolution, but Mrs Lister certainly knows the secret to a long life.

"A diet of fresh, home-grown vegies, guava jelly and some good fish are important in life."