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Cairns local is taking one-day-at-a-time for 100th birthday

Maureen and her husband.jpg

Cairns local Maureen has turned her hand to diverse roles over a century – including a one race stint as a racing jockey!

 Maureen celebrated her 100th birthday at her Bolton Clarke Farnorha aged care home over the weekend.

The grandmother of 10 and great grandmother of four says a dose of luck and the right attitude have helped her reach the milestone.

“I don’t think there is a secret, I think you just get lucky I suppose,” she said.

“I have never stopped to think about what to do to live a long life because I didn’t think I would have made it but I weathered all the storms and just kept going.

“It’s been a good life when I look back at the things that have happened and I’m so fortunate now.

“I would say you just have to take every day as it comes and there are so many things you can turn your hand to if you make up your mind.”

Maureen was born in Brisbane on 8th June 1924 and has led a rural life growing up and working on farms from Monto all the way out to Kenmore Park.

“I grew up around Monto where my mother and stepfather owned a dairy farm – they pioneered the farm and cleared it all to make space,” she said.

“We had to travel to a very small school of 40 students by sulky, a one-horse vehicle, before we got our own ponies to ride.

“After I finished school I moved to Gladstone to start my nursing training in surgical and hygiene, and there was a soldier I met there,” she said.

The soldier, John Stanfield, would become Maureen’s husband. After marrying, she left her nursing career to work and raise a family on farms with John.

“I ended riding one of his horses at the races once because the jockey didn’t turn up and my husband just said ‘go on, you’ll be right’ and it was so thrilling!”

Maureen celebrated her birthday and membership of the Centenarian Club with family and friends.

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