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Community & Business

22 January, 2021

The secret to a 100-year life

MARIA Fabia Marroquin celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday, January 20 at Carinya Home for the Aged in Atherton. A long life which she attributed to her faith in God, and just a little bit of wine with her meals.

By Rhys Thomas

100TH BIRTHDAY: Oscar Alberto Marroquin with his 100 year old mother Maria Fabia Marroquin holding her letter from the Queen to celebrate her 100th birthday.

MARIA Fabia Marroquin celebrated her 100th birthday on Wednesday, January 20 at Carinya Home for the Aged in Atherton. A long life which she attributed to her faith in God, and just a little bit of wine with her meals. 

Born in El Salvador, Central America, on January 20, 1921, Maria scraped out a living by doing housework and helping in the kitchens, making just $10 a month for her work, even though she worked over 20 hours a day. 

Life was hard in El Salvador as Maria had to walk 10km across the mountains to the nearest town to get groceries. 

Her son, Oscar Alberto Marroquin, migrated to Australia with his wife Nawal and their two children in 1989 while Maria stayed behind to care for her mother before she passed away. 

After her mother passed Maria made the journey to Australia in 1994 to be with Oscar and his family. 

“In El Salvador she worked as a housekeeper and it was a hard life, so to come to Australia was like coming to heaven,” Oscar said. 

“The reality is she used to work very hard from 5am to 12am or 2am. 

“From that hard work she built my life and enabled me to become a dentist in El Salvador and when we came to Australia, I rebuilt my life again and became a Dental Technician and Dental Therapist. 

“So now she is enjoying her life surrounded by her grandchildren and great granddaughter.” 

Maria has spent the latest two years of her life living in Carinya Home for the Aged in Atherton and is enjoying every moment. 

“She does not speak English so she has been with us the whole time,” Oscar said. 

“Two years ago, she had shingles and nearly passed away but thank god she recovered after we decided to put her here (Carinya). 

“Because my wife and I are working together we didn’t have too much time to be with her at home, so we decided to come here for better care.” 

Talking through her daughter-in-law Nawal, Maria said that she loves being in Australia and that it is a wonderful place. 

“I am very happy here in Australia, I sleep well, I eat well and it’s a magnificent place,” Maria said. 

Over her 100 years of life Oscar said that his mother’s key to living long is faith in god, and a little bit of wine in all of her meals, something she still enjoys while staying at Carinya.


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