100 years strong for Joyce

Joyce Monk celebrating her 100th birthday. 195237 Picture: JED LANYON

Yarra Junction resident Joyce Monk celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday 6 July, after a week of celebrations.

Joyce, an avid Hawthorn supporter, visited Waverley Park to watch the Hawks train on Thursday 4 July and had two players surprise her throughout the week.

Joyce has been a member of the club for 79 years and can recall all 13 premiership years and many players past and present.

Premiership ruckman Ben McEvoy made a surprise visit to see Joyce when she was out for lunch on Monday to present her with a signed guernsey.

“I lived in Ballarat, and I got married when I was 21. I use to come to Melbourne and Ern (Joyce’s late husband) would go to the football every Saturday afternoon and after a couple weeks I thought blow this, I’m going too.”

Having followed the Hawks since 1940, Joyce has seen the highs and lows throughout the club’s history.

“When Hawthorn needed money to get going, I raised thousands of dollars for them… I had raffles, dinners and theatre days and live shows.”

She said that she is looking forward to seeing the club back at its best again soon.

“From next year, all our new young players will be good. Alistair Clarkson’s building them up. We’re going to be good next year.”

Joyce said she could write a book about the history of the club and even recalls the days where the umpires would be invited into clubrooms after the games.

“But they couldn’t do that now,” she said.

On Wednesday, former 1978 premiership player Alle De Wolde came to visit Joyce.

Joyce was a player sponsor for De Wolde, which allowed him to purchase his first pair of football boots.

On Thursday, she went to watch the team train and said in the past she had travelled to Queensland, Sydney, Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia to see the Hawks play.

“I had three children, I lost two early when they were in their 60s… I’ve got 10 grandchildren and 19 grandchildren.

“They all barrack for Hawthorn and they are all members, except for one who barracks for Essendon.

“At least it’s not Collingwood,” she said.

Joyce said she always lived near Surrey Hills and Vermont before moving out to the Yarra Junction to be closer to her granddaughter 12 years ago.

She now lives at Estia Health nursing home and is in great health for her age.

“Nothing is wrong with me except I need hearing aids.

“People ask me ‘what is the secret to living so long?’ and it’s because I was born in Ballarat with fresh air and food, I keep active and on the go.

“My doctor told me 50 or 60 years ago, no salt and no sugar because you get enough from other things you have. Have a glass of red wine every night with dinner and to barrack for Hawthorn.”