MACKAY FAVOURITE: Ethel Bailey thanked her friends at the Senior Citizens Club for their birthday wishes.
MACKAY FAVOURITE: Ethel Bailey thanked her friends at the Senior Citizens Club for their birthday wishes. Kirsty Mugridge

Happy Birthday Ethel! Special resident reaches 100 today

ETHEL Bailey turns 100 today.

But don't let that make you think that keeps her at home.

The active, independent lady celebrated with friends at the Senior Citizen's hall on Thursday at her regular bowls outing.

Mrs Bailey said she took up bowls in 1989, after her husband passed away.

"His cousin said to me, 'You're not going to sit at home and rot' so she brought me along to bowls," she said.

It's something she continues to be competitive at, continuing to carve up the green and help her team to win while also chatting to the Daily Mercury about her life.

Mrs Bailey said her secret to a long life wasn't so complicated, it just involved "not dying".

Friends at bowls joked she must have been a wicked person, because "only the good die young" - to which Mrs Bailey laughed and didn't deny.

Born Ethel Dardanelles Hudson on August 29, 1915, she got her middle name from her mother's brother's location during the First World War.

She was one of five children, with two brothers and two sisters (all deceased).

Mrs Bailey grew up on a cane farm in Kuttabul, where she lived until she was 21, attending Hampden State School.

She remembered riding her horse to school every day.

When she was 21, Mrs Bailey started her nursing career, which took her to Monto and Ayr, and was still nursing at Cromer House (now the Gasworks) when she met Arnold Bailey at a dance at the Cremorne.

The pair was married in 1945 and had one son, Denis Bailey. During their married life, the Baileys bought Hodgkinsons the Bicycle People and they ran it for many years.

"I liked being a bicycle person," Mrs Bailey said.

Apart from playing indoor bowls twice a week, Mrs Bailey said she spent time looking after her home, where she remains living by herself. Mrs Bailey has one grandson Royce and two grandchildren Cameron and Stephanie.

She will celebrate her 100th birthday today (again) with family and friends.

Happy birthday, Ethel!

 


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