Happy Centenary to Mary Wathen

Despite a couple of health issues, Mrs Mary Wathne is bright, happy and maintains a cheeky sense of humor. She’s a fortnightly visitor to the Logan Diggers Club and has a group of friends who love to spend time with her. Not bad, for a lady who turns 100 on May 6.

Mrs Wathen nee Lock was born in West End, Brisbane. She recalls safely playing with other children in the street and backyards, travelling everywhere on the City’s trams and swimming in the West End swimming pool. But at six-years-old, after the death of her father, her life dramatically changed.

In those days, government support was not as we know it today and her mother had little alternative but to send the young girl to Nudgee Orphanage. She spent five years there and at 11 years old, she was able to return to her family’s West End home.

Mrs Wathen left school at 13 years old and began her working life as a Tailoress in nearby Stanley Street.

“I put zips in men’s trousers, “she said.

“There were no buttons in those days.

“During the war we did all the Australian Army’s Khaki.”

In her spare time, Mrs Wathen enjoyed dancing.

“I did ballroom dancing,” she said.

“And old-time waltzes, Gypsy tap and Pride of Erin.”

At 29 years old, she went on a blind date and met her husband to be. Arch was no dancer, but he was happy for his girlfriend to keep up her hobby. In fact, he accompanied Mrs Wathen to the dance hall, but wouldn’t get up to dance with her.

“I loved dancing, “she said.

“But it was boring, because when I was up dancing, he was sitting down.”

The couple were married at St Andrews Church at South Brisbane and after a short amount of time in the local area, they moved to Salisbury and set down roots.

Mr Wathen, who passed away about 25 years ago, worked as a postman and Mrs Wathen did various jobs including cleaning.

Back in the day, Arch went off to play Bowls and his wife enjoyed getting dressed up and having a day at the races.

She is still enjoying life with her regular day out at the club and a trip to the Senior Citizens club.

She is known to love a chat and enjoys relatively good health. She said the only thing she would like to see happen for this generation concerns computers.

“Nobody talks to you anymore; they all have their heads buried in a computer. – it’s sad.”

And, when asked the obligatory question about what her secret to longevity is, she replied with a chuckle.

“I have a Scotch every night.”

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