An elated Yolanda Bennoun celebrated her 100th birthday in Warrnambool next to the ocean - a place she loves and where she feels closest to her family.
"I feel elated that I made it and I'm still here," Mrs Bennoun said. "I recommend it to anyone."
Mrs Bennoun enjoys playing a bit of indoor bowls and attending Probus Club and VIEW Club meetings.
"I still drive my 30-year-old Volvo. This is the first year I've spent money on it," she said
"It was either repair it or buy a new one and I said 'this will last me, repair it'."
Mrs Bennoun is also an avid reader.
Friends and family gathered to celebrate her 100th birthday on Monday, February 12, 2024 at the Pavilion cafe.
"I lost his twin brother and a daughter - their ashes are in the sea," Mrs Bennoun said.
Her house on the Hopkins River, she said, had "the best view in Warrnambool", looking out over the river mouth and out to sea where her husband's ashes were also scattered off Logan's Beach more than 20 years ago.
"I say good morning to them and say good night," she said.
Her son Phillip - an identical twin - died about 30 years ago from an infection in the brain when he was working for UNICEF in China. Her daughter Mary died of lung cancer about eight years ago.
"I love the sea. I wouldn't be anywhere but Warrnambool. I always tell everybody: 'This is the best place in the world'," she said.
"I've travelled a lot... Warrnambool, there's nothing like it. Warrnambool is like a big family, everybody knows me and I know everybody."
She said people still remembered her from the years she spent running a reception centre on Botanic Road with her late husband Maurice, who also had the canteen at Fletcher Jones.