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Happy 100, Daphne

Taken from The Daily Telegraph August 20, 2020.

A glass of beer and a bunch of flowers hand delivered by her favourite soap star was the perfect way for Daphne to celebrate ahead of her 100th birthday.

Family got special permission for Home and Away’s Ray Meagher to surprise Daphne at the Estia Health Camden nursing home days out from the milestone.

Not able to go inside due to coronavirus restrictions, Meagher presented Daphne with a bunch of flowers outside the nursing home with her overwhelmed family watching on. “Turning 100 is obviously a very bug deal,” said Meagher, who is the only remaining original cast member on the show and has played Alf Stewart for 32 years.

“Daphne is a delightful lady. I am glad I went. “We didn’t get inside but whenever necessary I wore a face mask and in order for her to recognise me, when I went up I said “Stone the flaming crows, 100 Daphne”, how good is that.”

Daphne, who has dementia, was admitted to the nursing home in March after suffering a major fall from which she is still recovering. Her daily treat is a glass of beer at lunch and then again at dinner time.

“I’m blessed to be turning 100,” she said. “I love my family. I can’t wait to see everyone and have a beer.”

I’m blessed to be turning 100

Daphne’s grandson, David, said she has not missed an episode of the early evening drama since it launched in 1988.

Her family has not been able to see her face-to-face for several month due to the increased measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It was a fantastic occasion to ring in Nan’s 100th birthday,” David said. “Nan has watched Home and Away since the very first episode and she just loves Alf. She was over the moon and spent the entire morning thanking everyone over and over for all the fuss.

She is a very special women who is loved by us all and it was important for us to be able to do something special to mark her incredible milestone after the tough year she’s had, made only harder because of COVID restrictions.”

She is a very special women who is loved by us all

Daphne is mother to four and has seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

As well as her party with Meagher, she has received birthday letters from Queen Elizabeth, Governor-General David Hurley and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

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