A former school teacher and netball coach who survived the bombing blitz in England during World War II is one of Queensland’s newest centenarians.
Margaret Holloway, who lives at the Carinity Brookfield Green aged care community, turned 100 on October 7. She became a member of a very exclusive club – one of around 4,250 centenarians in Australia.
Born in Oulton, a tiny village in Yorkshire, England in 1919, Margaret was one of six siblings. She only went to school for a few years before working as a farm labourer.
Margaret was a high school geography teacher for most of her life, spoke German and French proficiently and coached netball at school and university.
“I lived in quite peculiar times because I was born right at the end of World War I in 1919 and lived through World War II when it was in Europe,” Margaret says.
When she was in her early-20s Margaret wanted to serve her country by undertaking war service during World War II.
“My mother wanted to contribute to the war effort but due to the shortage of teachers at that time, she was urged to teach,” Margaret’s daughter Francoise Masterman says.
“While she was studying at the University of Sheffield the city was bombed heavily by the Germans because Sheffield was where a lot of the steel was made. A couple of times during the bombings she had to hide.”
Margaret spent most of her life in England before migrating to Australia in 1970 at the age of 50.
“Mum has always been full of activity. When she lived at Wynnum she taught an aqua aerobics class for seniors until she was about 94,” Francoise says.
Margaret has one daughter, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Her hobbies include reading, history, walking, visiting friends and doing crosswords she loves to receive visits from animals.