STAFF, residents and family at Moe Royal Freemasons came together on Saturday, January 20, to celebrate a very special birthday.

Irmgard Mohr, originally from Breslau in the east of Germany (now Wrocław, Poland), celebrated her 100th birthday.

Growing up in war-torn Germany, Irmgard was a girl who never asked for much and enjoyed the simplicities of life.

Fluent in German and Polish, Irmgard was a bright young girl who worked hard and kept her head down.

With Germany losing World War 2, reparations needed to be paid, and citizens suffered.

For Irmgard, living in post-war Germany “was a horrible life,” and from there, she sought out greener pastures.

Both Irmgard’s parents died in 1945, so after the war, the young woman was sent to live with her family in the north of the country.

“With war – I wouldn’t want to go to another one,” she said.

“With Hitler, you had to do something for the country; you couldn’t go ‘I want to go to uni’ all those things, forget it.”

Having worked as a sign writer watching aircrafts, Irmgard loved being a working-class woman but still sought out something or someone that could complete her.

“In Germany, you had maybe well 20 women for one man; nobody came back. They were shot in the war,” she added.

It wasn’t until Irmgard was in her mid-30s that she found herself with the most exciting marriage proposal.

One young man by the name of Martin Mohr sent her a letter asking for her hand in marriage and an opportunity to sail away to a foreign land Down Under.

Only knowing Martin through mutual friends, the young lady took what was possibly the largest leap of faith and jumped on the next ship headed for Melbourne.

The six-week journey was gruelling, but Irmgard and Martin finally arrived in January 1958.

Wasting no time, the pair were married by March and welcomed their daughter Birgit in December of the same year.

Martin had pre-purchased a plot of land in little old Moe, and that’s where the Mohrs began their lives as a family.

Once Martin had secured enough savings from his work at the SEC, where he slowly climbed the ranks – the pair decided to build their house on that very same block of land.

Martin and Irmgard were married for 64 lovely years before he passed away a few years ago.

In their life, Irmgard recalled many fond memories of travelling overseas to visit family on vacation; the pair have even completed a whole lap of Australia.

Irmgard is quite the character, full of cheek and cheer, even at 100.

The strong German woman has one piece of advice for the world, and that is to live a simple life.

Irmgard always says, “You can have hopes and dreams, but you won’t always get what you wish for – that’s life, so take the good with the bad”.

Living within your means is something Irmgard had always practised, but perhaps the secret to living to 100 may have something to do with her impeccable, healthy cooking.

With a self-sustainable garden in the backyard of their Moe home, the Mohrs always grew their own produce and ate clean.

On her 100th birthday, Irmgard made an exception to the clean eating to enjoy some birthday cake and her favourite German malt beer with her friends and family.

Even the local member for Morwell, Martin Cameron, made a visit to the Royal Freemasons in Moe to celebrate Irmgard’s very special day.