At 103 years old there isn't much stopping Mary Mills who recently celebrated not only her birthday with 140 fellow dancers but the renewal of her driver licence.
Born in Bundaberg, on 26 April 1920, Mary has spent the past 90 years kicking up her heels dancing with old and new friends and she believes this is the secret of keeping young at heart and active in mind.
On Saturday 29 April, to help her celebrate her 103rd birthday in style, 140 ballroom and rock and roll dancers converged at the Avenell Heights Community Hall dressed in their best Hawaiian attire.
Mary’s daughter Fay Gough said it was a sight to see as Just Rock Bundaberg Rock n Roll Dance Club members and Chrome Rockers tapped toes with family members for Mary's 103rd birthday celebration.
Mary said dancing wasn’t just about physical fitness.
“I started dancing around the house when I was just five years old believe it or not,” she said.
“Then I went to classes and once you learn how to dance it just sticks with you.
“I’m sure it has helped me with other things.
“I had no problem getting my licence renewed for another year and I enjoy having my independence.
“I don’t drive at night or out on the highway, just small trips if I need to go out or pop down to the shops to pick up something.
“I don’t know what I would do without being able to drive.”
Growing up on a farm on the outskirts of Bundaberg, Mary said she worked hard which provided her the opportunity to play hard too.
“I had a good life, it was a hard life but a very good life,” she said.
“We didn’t have the conveniences we have now, but I was able to dance quite a bit and I guess I have always just enjoyed it.”
Fay said during Mary’s 103rd birthday celebrations guests danced to music by locals Kenny and the Nitro Rockers and Clem Soppa, and it was a colourful and fun affair.
“Mum’s mother was a Schmeider and she married my grandfather a McGhee, so Mum grew up as Mary McGhee,” Fay said.
“This party is the climax of an exciting week for my mother when she was presented with life membership of the senior cits, of which she was a founding member in 1974.
“However, her most thrilling achievement this week was being awarded her driver’s licence for another 12 months – she is a very responsible driver.”
Queensland residents 75 years of age and over who wish to hold a drivers licence are subject to regular medical assessments, to find out more click here.
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