Sheep with the words Centenarian, Roller skating, Sheep & Cattle Farming, Living off the Grid, Hard Times, Author, Ballarat, Great-great-grandchildren   Recognising senior Victorians logo and image

Betty Green has written ‘The Grandma Book’ for her grandchildren but, as she’s just turned 100, it’s a large book and her grandchildren are old enough to read it to their kids. 'It starts off when I was a little girl myself up until now. It's fairly big. It's just my life story,’ Betty says.

The story of Betty

The story starts with Betty’s birth in 1920 but really begins when she left school at 14, working in a hotel. ‘I didn't have a beer.’ For fun, Betty loved roller skating and mastered spins and skating backwards. She was rollerskating when she met her future husband, Russell Green. ‘We had an old picture theatre in Beaufort and they made it into a skating rink,’ Betty says. ‘He used to go skating and so did I. We married when I was 20 and he was 23.’

Raising a family

The couple started their married life on a sheep and cattle farm just out of Beaufort. ‘When we went there, we didn't have anything — just an old stove, no electricity, no telephone. The only water was out of drums. ‘We were busy. We didn't go out very much. I didn't drive. I never learned how to drive apart from the tractor. ‘It was hard times, there was no money. We would go to Ballarat and my husband would say, “Don't spend it all” and he'd give me $10, but we liked it. We were happy.’ It was 20 years before the SEC connected the property to electricity but, as the years passed, the couple were able to buy more land and stock, ‘and we became a bit better off’. Betty had two boys and two girls. ‘I milked the cows, put the children on the school bus and then would go and help with the cows. ‘I haven't done many great things, I've just tried to be a good citizen and I've enjoyed my life and tried to be good to the family,’ Betty says.