Bundaberg local and devoted Broncos fan Zema Denton celebrated her 101st birthday this week and is hoping her team can continue the celebrations with a grand final win this weekend.
Zema marked her milestone birthday on Wednesday surrounded by friends, family and fellow residents at Anglicare Southern Queensland’s Meilene Residential Aged Care Home.
In recognition of her passion for NRL, Anglicare will create a grand-final atmosphere at their Meilene home this Sunday, showing the game on their in-house cinema and decking out Zema in the latest Broncos’ gear.
Zema said she was excited to watch and hoped to see her beloved Broncos take out their seventh grand final win.
Knowing her to be such a big footy fan, her family had approached AusWide Bank, where she has been a customer for many years, with the local bank and Queensland Maroons State of Origin sponsor surprising Zema with a signed and certified Queensland ball, hat and scarf as well as a personal birthday video from former Broncos and Queensland NRL legend Sam Thaiday.
In the message Thaiday said he had his fingers crossed for a win this weekend and wished Zema a very happy 101st birthday.
“That’s a lot of cake and a lot of cake makes me very happy,” Sam said.
“Up the Broncos and happy birthday!”
Zema said it had been ‘the week of a lifetime’ and was excited to share it with her niece Leanne Zielke.
“Zema was absolutely thrilled and emotional when the video of Sam was shown on the big screen,” Leanne said.
A lifelong love of sport
Zema was born in Richmond Queensland and enjoyed a career as a switchboard operator and hairdresser.
She was a talented and committed golfer, playing with her father when she was younger and going on to win several trophies in the sport.
Outside of NRL and watching the Broncos, Zema’s other hobbies include sewing, embroidery, listening to music and dancing.
She has lived at Anglicare’s Meilene home for the past five years and is very close with her eight nieces and nephews.