Dorothy celebrates 100th birthday
WHEN Gympie’s Dorothy Gibson (nee Kernick) was born at Mt Perry on July 30 1910, King George V was on the throne, Australia’s Governor-General was William Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley, Alfred Deakin was Prime Minister and the Queensland Premier was William Kidston.
Oh, what a difference a century makes. Today marks Mrs Gibson’s 100th birthday and at her Mooloo home this week she received congratulatory letters from Queen Elizabeth II, Australia’s Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh.
Women’s rise to positions of power once considered out of their reach is just one of the many changes the centenarian has seen.
Mrs Gibson was about three when her family moved to Gympie.
Her father, John “Punch” Kernick was a miner, who took up a position with the Scottish mine.
Mrs Gibson attended Central State School and then Bank’s Pocket school and said she was only about 13 when she left school and took up child minding for the Counter, Ryan and Thurect families. When she was 17 she commenced work at Lister hospital, working there very happily until she married in 1936.
As a young woman, Mrs Gibson was a keen dancer, attending social functions with her friends at various halls around the district. It was at a Pie Creek Hall dance that she met the love of her life, Andrew Gibson. The couple courted for five years. Mrs Gibson said she would ride her horse from Fisher’s Road to Mooloo to visit Andrew, and he would buy her buckets of red roses.
The first time she visited the dairy farm that would be home for 74 years and counting, she knew she would spend the rest of her life there.
Andrew and Dorothy married at the Red Hill Methodist Church and moved into the home that Andrew built nestled at the foot of Little Baldy Mountain.
Even though her husband passed away some years ago, Mrs Gibson continued to help out her son Warren on the farm, milking cows up until she was 82 years old.
“I must have gone dry then,” she quipped with a chuckle.
As to her longevity, Mrs Gibson puts much of it down to a positive attitude and hard work.
“I always ate sensibly, I never smoked, never drank and we had plenty of laughter,” she said.
Family and friends will celebrate Mrs Gibson’s 100th birthday at Pie Creek Community Hall tomorrow.