Clarence Valley Independent

Doreen celebrates 101 years with bike ride

Left: Doreen describes herself as a re-cycled teenager. Right: Ian Dunstan chauffeured Doreen around Grafton on his tri-wheeler motor bike, for her 101st birthday. Images: Contributed.

Lynne Mowbray |

Dougherty Villa resident Doreen Sheehan celebrated her 101st birthday with a three wheeler motor bike ride around Grafton.

The centenarian shared a little bit about her life and what it’s like to have reached 101.

Doreen said that she was born in Grafton; out on the Casino Road.

“That’s not where I was born though – on the road,” Doreen said laughing.

“Back in those days they had no numbers on the houses and they just said you lived out along the road.

“I went to school at Southgate, until I was 12 and then we moved into Grafton and mum bought a house in Mary Street, for 400 pounds.
“I only went to school for two years after that cause mum got sick when she had the last baby and I had to take care of mum and the rest of the kids, while dad went to work.
“Mum was in hospital for a while and so I didn’t go back to school.
“When she came home (from hospital) I went and got a job.
“My first wage was two pounds 10 shillings, every four weeks.
“So I went down the street and bought myself a pure wool overcoat for 19 shillings and a beautiful orange polo neck coat for 10 shillings and a jumper to go under the coat and I’d come home with 10 shillings and I’d give that to mum. We’d go to the pictures every time there was a change of program and I thought that was beautiful,” she said.

Doreen, who has resided at Dougherty Villa for the last three years, described the many wonderful aspects of life within the villa.

“Living here is like a patchwork quilt; everything is lovely – every patch is just as nice as the other patch. I love everything about it. As a matter of fact, I’m enjoying myself very much,” she said.
“I get on well with all the other centenarians, I like them all; in fact I get on with just about anyone,” she said.

For Doreen’s special birthday, staff at Dougherty Villa had organised a tri-wheeled motor bike ride around Grafton for her special day.

When asked how she’d spent her 101st birthday, Doreen started laughing and said, “Oh boy that was an experience and a half on the back of that bike; that was very nice, everything on my birthday was good,” she said.
“I don’t feel 100; I’ll wait until I get to 200 and then I can tell you what it’s like to be 100,” she said laughing.
“My secret to longevity is mums cod liver oil.”
And to sum up how she really feels at 101 Doreen replied; “I’m a re-cycled teenager, that’s what I am,” she said.

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