Nine Brisbane centenarians were honoured when Bolton Clarke hosted its second annual Centenarian Club morning tea at Brisbane City Hall on Tuesday, 2 October.
The event coincided with International Day of the Older Person celebrations on 1 October.
Special guests included returning club members Elma, 105, from Bolton Clarke’s Treetops residential aged care community at New Farm and Thelma, 102, from Bolton Clarke’s Inverpine residential aged care community at Murrumba Downs.
Eileen, who will celebrate her 103rd birthday on Saturday, 6 October at Inverpine, also attended.
Bolton Clarke Chairman Pat McIntosh and Brisbane City Council Chairman of Council, Councillor Angela Owen, welcomed new members and presented them with a book of historic images of Brisbane and surrounding areas.
“Bolton Clarke launched the Centenarian Club last year to create new opportunities to honour and record the lives of our clients and residents, build their relationships with their communities and each other and reinforce their sense of identity and continuation of their story,” Mr McIntosh said.
“We’ve been pleased this year to welcome more than 20 new centenarians among our south-east Queensland clients and residents, and many more across Australia.
“It is our privilege to support these people, whether they are living at home or in our residential or retirement communities.”
Centenarian guests were:
Vera (Pinjarra Hills)
Vera, known as Billy, is a new club member and was born at New Farm, Brisbane on 28 April, 1918. Vera later lived at Lutwyche and Indooroopilly and has always been active enjoying aerobics, square dancing and tennis. She has two sons and says she still manages to beat them at Scrabble.
Bert (Currumbin Waters)
Bert is a new club member who was born on 5 February, 1918 and grew up at Lithgow where his favourite pastimes included fishing, bee-keeping, shooting, hockey and motorbike riding. In fact, it was a motorbike that brought him and his late wife Jean together, a marriage he describes as the best thing he ever did.
Bert had admired Jean as a hockey player and when he met her at a dance it only took a ride on his bike to start a lifelong romance. The pair were married in 1940.
Bert worked as a coal miner and at a rubber works before joining the RAAF in 1943, where he served until 1946. A passionate carpenter by trade, he started out with friends in a joinery business after the war and worked there for more than 27 years before taking a role as a foreman for another 27 years.
Outside Jean and his family, which grew from his three sons to include nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, Bert’s other great love was motorbikes and he celebrated his 100th birthday in February by climbing on a bike.
Ivy is a new club member who was born on 27 March, 1918. She went to work at a young age and held jobs including working in an egg shop, at a canning company and as a maid for a doctor.
During World War II she joined Navy, Army and Airforce Institute to work in the canteen providing food for the servicemen, and it was there she met her husband David Evans, who was an Army Sergeant.
They married in 1944 and enjoyed more than 65 years of wedded bliss.
In retirement she took up travelling, dancing and lawn bowls and in her retirement took up new hobbies including gardening, cooking and helping with her grandchildren.
Rotary, Meals on Wheels, Probus and Caboolture RSL are just some of the organisations Art McClure has contributed to over a century of service.
Art is a new club member, born on 23 March, 1918. He grew up in Caboolture and remembers riding his horse to school in the early days of the township.
Art enlisted in the Army at 21 and served as a topographical surveyor from 1940-45 in Darwin, Borneo and Papua New Guinea. On his return home he settled down as a banana grower on his farm on the Maleny range.
Art always loved agriculture and won multiple awards during his time on the land.
He served as a Fruit Steward for both the Caboolture Show Society and the Royal National Show, earned Rotary recognition as a Paul Harris Fellow and remains closely linked with Caboolture Meals on Wheels, where he was President for eight years.
Hazel is a new club member who was born on 1 December, 1918 and lived at Newmarket with her brothers, attending Newmarket State School.
She left there to begin her working life as a dressmaker in the city, and made all her own ball dresses for her busy dance schedule. During World War II she was assigned to Archerfield Aerodrome to help repair Australian and American planes that had been damaged in combat. It was there she met her husband Edgar and they married in 1945.
They started their family at Ashgrove and Edgar built a caravan which they towed across the Nullarbor plain in 1968 to Perth. After Edgar’s retirement in 1981 they converted a Nissan van and travelled around Australia, also travelling internationally in Asia, the UK, Europe and Ireland.
Hazel and Edgar were keen tennis players and were invited to the wedding of Ken Rosewall. In later years they joined the Bardon Bowls Club, where they both played for many years amd had great success. Hazel retains a keen interest in gardening, especially orchids, and still knits beanies for the Mission to Seafarers through her local church.
Russell (Rusty) (Thornlands)
Rusty is a new club member who was born at Coonamble, NSW on 17 September, 1918. As a young man he played rugby league and cricket.
After leaving active service, Rusty managed department stores before training as a horticulturist and opening his own business in Sydney. He now lives at our Moreton Shores community at Thornlands and is a keen follower of rugby league, specifically the Broncos – a team he has supported from their early days and who sent him a jersey for his birthday. He has five children, 14 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Thelma (Murrumba Downs)
Thelma is a returning club member, born on 28 November, 1916 in Canungra. She attended Sherwood Primary from there she attended High School at Brisbane State High loving school and the sports of Hurdling and Netball.
In 1930 Thelma got a job at Morrows Biscuits, which she took as it helped the family. She worked there for 10 years until she was married. She says her claim to fame was hand icing ICED VOVO Biscuits.
Thelma remembers the depression years when her mum would make briefs (bloomers they were called then) from Sea Foam Flour bags of white calico, the Sea Foam print would not always wash out and you could have it written across your bottom.
Thelma meet her husband Eric Sprott when her older sister married Eric’s brother. They courted for 15 months before marrying on 19th April 1941. They honeymooned at Redcliffe and rented a house in Corinda for 10 Shillings a week.
Thelma and Eric had four boys the eldest two were born in Sherwood and the youngest two in Petrie. She also has nine Grandchildren and 18 Great Grandchildren.
Thelma is a very popular resident at our Inverpine residential aged care community. Thelma is a Life Member of Pine Rivers Rowing Club and a few months ago the clubhouse was named in her honour the “Thelma Sprott Boathouse”.
Eileen (Murrumba Downs)
Eileen, known as “Mackie”, is a returning club member who was born in Derbyshire, England on 6 October, 1915.
During World War II her husband was stationed at the Fleet Air Arm base, and she lived in married quarters and in a shared flat. She and her husband later moved to Guernsey, in the Channel Islands, before emigrating to Australia in 1950.
When she left England, family members told Mackie she would never have old bones, and she delighted in proving them wrong.
Mackie and her husband lived at Redcliffe, Petrie and Sandgate. She worked at the Pelaco factory making shirts, and at the Golden Circle cannery, before eventually taking an aged care role at Eventide.
Having always loved music she returned to her studies at age 50 and achieved a Music Teaching Diploma. A gifted pianist, she and daughter Valerie adopted the Suzuki method of teaching and at 80 she went to a music conference in Ireland.
Elma (New Farm)
Elma is a returning club member and our senior member here today, born on 15 March, 1913. She grew up as one of 12 children.
When she was younger she said she was too busy to get married, but she met her husband at Mt Isa and married at 38. She later moved to South Australia and Darwin before retiring to the Sunshine Coast.
An Air Force Veteran and avid golfer, Elma played alongside the likes of Greg Norman’s late mother. Her family extends to nine great-grandchildren.