Joan makes 100!

Written by on 29/01/2020


JOAN Chappell celebrates 100 laps around the sun this weekend and couldn’t be happier than to spend the occasion dancing with family and friends in Darwin.

It’s a milestone she welcomes with open arms.

“I only feel like 21. You get tired but you also get lively. It’s been a good life,” she said.

She puts 100 healthy years down to three simple things which she hopes her three children, two granddaughters and two great-grandsons can emulate in their own lives.

“It’s having a good attitude, I enjoy people’s company and being active,” she said.

“I used to go to the swimming pool, I used to do that three times a week, that was very nice. (Now) I walk to the shops every day, it takes about 15 minutes but I must say, sometimes I get a lift back.”

Born in Lymington, UK, Ms Chappell joined the Women Royal Naval Service where she had her fair share of survival stories. But one of the more memorable stories came just after arriving in the tropics of the Top End.

“I arrived three weeks before Cyclone Tracy (in 1974) … welcome to Darwin,” she said. “It was scary, very scary. Of course we left again after the cyclone. (But) my late husband Norman liked Darwin and I liked it so we decided to come back and stay here.”

Since those first few weeks, the city has changed and is unrecognisable to the place she first moved to and called home. “I think the world is topsyturvy, I just go with the flow. It’s easier that way,” she said.

Now living in Coconut Grove, she prefers the Darwin she first moved to and its character. But the heat has kept her in Darwin. “I love the warm weather, it doesn’t matter how hot, I never complain. If it was cold I might grumble,” she said. “I like all of it, I wouldn’t live anywhere else and I’m not likely to at 99.”

Ms Chappell is looking forward to her birthday celebrations this weekend, dancing at the Coconut Grove Seniors Hall on Saturday before a birthday celebration on her real birthday, February 2.

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