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Itchy Feet Lead Margaret to Neverland


Margaret Black and J.M Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, have one little thing in common. They were both born in Scotland, five miles from Dundee, in the ‘wee red toon’ called Kirriemuir. Coming from a long-living lineage, the Bolton Clarke At Home Support client truly embodies the spirit of never growing old, as she celebrated her 103rd birthday in April.

There must have been something in the water, as two of Margaret’s three siblings lived until they were 96, with one of her brothers passing at 89. Her Mother also lived to be 90. Her Mother was suffering from the Spanish Flu when she gave birth to her youngest child, Margaret, and as a result she was always brought up as the delicate one of the family. Margaret’s daughter, Anne, says maybe that’s what has contributed to Margaret’s longevity.

“When she went to school, my grandmother had Mum all rugged up, with Camphor on her chest. That’s how I think she’s made it this long!” Anne said.

“Few people could afford doctor’s back then; they were so expensive, so you always had home remedies used on you.” Margaret laughed.

The family lived on a farm which Margaret’s Father managed, and after his untimely passing when Margaret was 14, they had to move into the local town. Margaret entered the workforce and became a weaver to help support the family.  

She married in 1940 and had her first child Anne in 1941. A great desire to wander took Margaret and her family away from Scotland to Africa, where they lived first in Zimbabwe and then Zambia. They returned back to Great Britain for a time, before making the move to Australia in 1981.

“My husband had itchy feet, so when he said we were to go, I had to pack everything up and we would go with him wherever was next,” Margaret said.

Margaret has been living in Australia for 40-odd years now, originally in Gladstone before settling in the Western suburbs of Brisbane.

Thanks to the support of Bolton Clarke At Home Support nurses and carers, Margaret has been able to continue living at home. Recently Margaret moved in with her family where she still receives visits from her favourite Bolton Clarke nurses.

“I think nursing is a very important job, they are so good to me. It’s hard work but it’s very rewarding,” Margaret said.

“My great-granddaughter Emma is studying nursing and it’s just lovely. The little things can make such a friendship, you see.”