TURNING 100 is just the latest milestone in the long and colourful life of Maroochydore centenarian Mary Murray OAM.
Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien popped into Mary’s birthday celebrations on Monday January 8, to congratulate the 100-year-old great grandmother.
“Mary is such a strong character and she continues to power through life,” Mr O’Brien said.
“According to her family and friends, she’ll be around for quite some time and the world is certainly a better place for it.”
Born in 1918, Mary grew up on a dairy farm along an estuary of the Boyne River near Gladstone. She trained as a nurse and joined the Defence Force in World War 2, stationed at Cowan Cowan, a convalescent hospital on Moreton Island.
In the mid-1950s, she and husband Fred Murray were a formidable rally car racing team, with tough-as-nails Mary, who was dubbed “Muddy Mary”, taking the wheel with Fred her navigator.
During her decade as a champion rally car driver Mary regularly claimed female titles including the Around Australia Ampol trial in 1958. The mother-of-six was also the first women’s stock car driver in Brisbane.
In the 1980s, husband Fred was elected a Councillor and later became Chairman of the Maroochy Shire Council and thus ensued Mary’s commitment to charity work, founding the Mary Murray Welfare Committee.
In 1995 she was awarded an OAM for her charity work.
Mary said the secret to her long life was hard work and a diet of corned beef, carrots, pumpkin and potato.
“I worked hard ever since I was a girl and in my nursing career and then raising six children and being a wife and mother,” said Mrs Murray.
Mr O’Brien said he was impressed with Mary’s level of independence, still living on her own and playing bridge at two local bridge clubs in Nambour and Buderim.
“And from what I hear, she’s still winning the games too! I think that’s brilliant,” he said.