Australia's oldest identical twins share 102nd birthday

Australia's oldest identical twins celebrate 102nd birthday

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OLDEST IDENTICAL TWINS: Concie Marshall and Leila Moag were seven when their parents packed up from Berry to move to Sydney in 1926.

OLDEST IDENTICAL TWINS: Concie Marshall and Leila Moag were seven when their parents packed up from Berry to move to Sydney in 1926.

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The oldest surviving identical twins in Australia and likely the world are celebrating their 102nd birthday in Berry.

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"Wacko!" said Leila when she was reminded about her and her sister's special day.

Concie Marshall and Leila Moag, who were born in Berry, on NSW's South Coast, are the oldest surviving identical twins in Australia and very likely the world.

On Thursday, April 29, the twins were joined by family and friends at a morning tea in Bupa Berry to celebrate their record-setting 102nd birthday.

"We've got all the trimmings and everyone's gone to a lot of trouble and the staff have been wonderful," said Leila's daughter Barbara.

As Barbara began to tear up she said it was very comforting to have them together in a nice place on their birthdays.

"And my sister Rhonda, being a registered nurse, is wonderful to them as well," Barbara said.

BABIES: Lucie May and Concie Jean Morris.

BABIES: Lucie May and Concie Jean Morris.

Although the sisters have mild dementia and are a bit hard of hearing, Leila's daughter Barbara Stent and Concie's daughter Rhonda Birch said the pair enjoy life and love to socialise.

Berry days

The twins, whose maiden name was Morris, were seven when their parents packed up from Berry to move to Sydney in 1926.

Prior to that, their mother Charlotte and father Robert owned a local milk bar/icecream shop and an adjacent barber shop in Berry.

The twin's daughters knew little of what Charlotte was like as she died before they were born but Robert apparently never hurt a soul and gave up hairdressing at 75 to become an artist.

"That's going a long way back. I remember it was very cool on the mountain top when we would run down it," said Concie.

The twins at the Wharf Bridge in Berry.

The twins at the Wharf Bridge in Berry.

Rhonda recalled being told the twins used to ride from Berry on horse and carriage to Seven Mile Beach.

"If someone said let's go to the beach, my mum would be packed up and ready to go," said Rhonda.

The twins returned to Berry in their old age as Bupa was the only retirement home that offered double rooms.

"When they found out they would be moving to Berry, they were happy to come because they feel at home here," said Rhonda.

The twins with their mother in Sydney.

The twins with their mother in Sydney.

Navy tales and dinner with the Queen Mother

Leila's husband Roger and Concie's husband Doug were Lieutenant Commanders in the Royal Australian Navy and were often overseas on naval postings.

In 1956, Concie and her husband Doug were invited to a dinner with Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother in Parliament House in Canberra.

Doug had been invited because he was the Queen Mother's escort when she toured Australia and Concie would talk about her as "Doug's friend Lizzie."

Rhonda recalled her mum once saying she "wished someone would break her arm because she didn't want to go she was so nervous".

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: 102-year-old identical twins Concie Marshall and Leila Moag with their daughters, Rhonda (left) and Barbara.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: 102-year-old identical twins Concie Marshall and Leila Moag with their daughters, Rhonda (left) and Barbara.

Special affinity

The pair are extremely close, having celebrated almost all of their birthdays together except for a few times when one or the other was away on account of their husband's naval postings.

Asked whether it's fun being twins, Concie said she didn't know any different and she would never want to be away from Leila.

"I'm always on my feet looking for her," she said.

And their secret to a long and fruitful life?

"Drink plenty of cold water and no white wine or whiskey," said Concie.

"Perhaps it has something to do with their father living till he was 104," said Rhonda.

The twins have six grandchildren between them, with three belonging to each of their daughters.

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