Miss Gemmell, who never married, was transferred to Sydney in 1954 and settled on the lower north shore.
“I lived in Cremorne for ten years and then moved to Mosman, where I have been ever since,” she said.
With no immediate family living in Sydney and her friends now deceased, Miss Gemmell said she has no plans to mark her 106th birthday on May 11.
“I’m too old for parties, but my carer will visit me on the day to say happy birthday,” she said.
“I feel lucky to have lived this long with all my mental faculties.
“The day will be spent with my knitting, which helps me pass the time and keeps my brain sharp.”
Betty (far left) photographed with three of her sisters. She has outlived all but one of her seven siblings.
Miss Gemmell, who starts each day with a poached egg and marmalade toast, has stayed on top of local issues and says the arrival of Woolworths in Mosman village is “a disgrace”.
“All those wonderful little shops that have been on Military Rd for a hundred years will soon disappear – like me!” she said.
“The most beautiful thing about living in Mosman is that the water is so close to us, and there is something pretty to look at everywhere you turn.
“But the suburb has changed over the years I’ve lived here.
“I miss the good old days when Australia was a land of loyal and proud patriots who loved their country.”
Betty Gemmell received a card from Queen Elizabeth for her 100th birthday in 2017.
When asked for the secret of living to 106, Miss Gemmell said she was happy to share her advice with Mosman Collective readers.
“Don’t smoke. Don’t overeat. Don’t commit adultery. And a swim at Balmoral every day will do wonders for your health.”
We would love Miss Gemmell to receive some birthday cards on May 11. If you would like to send one, please address it to:
Mrs Betty Gemmell
C/- Anna Usher.
PO Box 585