Home » Centenarian’s remarkable journey celebrated in Springfield

Centenarian’s remarkable journey celebrated in Springfield

Guy Hazlewood    April 23, 2024    3 min read   

Suzanne Paruit-Chauvin, a centenarian with a life story that spans continents and generations, recently celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends at The Springlake Hotel in Springfield.

Suzanne Paruit-Chauvin (bottom centre) with her family for her 100th birthday celebrations. Source: Gloria Gough

Born on April 3, 1924, in Mauritius off the coast of Madagascar, Suzanne is the oldest of ten siblings.

Her daughter, Gloria, shared insights into Suzanne’s remarkable life journey, highlighting her experiences during World War II and her subsequent emigration to England and later to Australia.

Gloria recounted her mother’s vivid memories of surviving World War II in Mauritius, where she experienced air raid drills and sought refuge in bunkers as a teenager.

Despite the challenges, Suzanne persevered, eventually marrying at the age of 21 and becoming a mother of seven children.

In 1965, amidst political upheaval in Mauritius ahead of its independence from the United Kingdom, Suzanne embarked on a journey to England with Gloria, who was just six weeks old at the time.

Gloria recalled the hardships her mother faced as a young immigrant in London, where she had to navigate a new language and culture while caring for her newborn.

“Mum arrived in London with nothing but the clothes on her back and a newborn baby,” Gloria shared.

“She had to figure out how to communicate, find somewhere to live, and navigate public transport with limited English skills.”

Despite the initial challenges, Suzanne quickly adapted to her new environment in London and eventually became a tutor of the English language during a two-year stint in Paris.

Gloria described her mother as an extraordinary lady who learned and adapted quickly to various situations.

In 1984, Suzanne and her family settled in Sydney, where they lived for over three decades before relocating to Springfield in 2015, following Suzanne’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Despite the challenges posed by her illness, Suzanne’s resilience and spirit remained unwavering, as evidenced by her alertness and joy during her 100th birthday celebration.

Reflecting on her mother’s milestone, Gloria expressed admiration for her mother’s strength and the power of family love and support.

“Seeing all her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids together was just amazing,” she said.

“She has been nonverbal for six years but when she sees her family, something wakes inside of her and she smiles – and even tries to sing.”

As Suzanne looks forward to potentially receiving a letter from the King to mark her centenary, her story serves as a testament to the enduring power of resilience, love, and family bonds.

Suzanne in Sydney with her Rolls Royce. Source: Gloria Gough
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Guy Hazlewood