Not quite 100, but Florence is ready to party
HER 100th birthday may be two months away, but for Florence Slattery the celebrations have started early.
Known for her wicked sense of humour and impeccable dress, "Queen" Florence will celebrate her long-awaited birthday on June 22.
In the meantime, the celebrations have already begun.
Joie De Vivre owner Deeny Kohler-Caporale threw a cabaret-themed bash for Mrs Slattery at the King St cafe on Wednesday.
Recalling her friendship with the lady of the hour, Ms Kohler-Caporale said she decided to host an early celebration to mark not just Mrs Slattery's birthday, but the whole birth year.
"I just figure why not celebrate the year?" she said.
"I'm so proud and so honoured to say my dear friend is in her 100th year."
Performing a medley of songs in her friend's honour, Ms Kohler-Caporale reminisced about her first visit to Mrs Slattery's home.
"Florence always dresses immaculately; not a hair out of place, clothes like French couture," she said.
"Visiting Florence is like having morning tea or afternoon tea with the Queen - her garden, her clothes, what she does is all so, so amazing."
When asked how she made it to such a great age, Mrs Slattery said she really didn't know.
"I didn't think I would," she said.
With her usual wicked sense of humour, Mrs Slattery shared some wisdom and insight into her life. "I might be nearly 100 but I can still stand and still sit. I don't know what else I need to do," she said.
She also shared the story of adapting to life at Akooramak.
"I broke my elbow... smashed it and I couldn't play music anymore," she said.
"That nearly killed me because when I would get down I would play for so long."
Also present were many of Mrs Slattery's friends, including Valerie Rose.
Mrs Rose has been a friend for more than 40 years, laying bridge with her once a week.
"Florence hasn't had an easy life but she's always filled it with her courage and panache," she said.
"She's one of the most beautiful people I know.
"She's done a lot in the community - not only with the Red Hatters but with her music too."
There will be plenty of celebrating in the lead-up to the big day for Mrs Slattery.
Not only have her daughters organised a party, she's also expected to celebrate alongside her beloved Red Hatters and the Warwick Bridge Club.