Five of Mavis New’s great grandchildren sang Happy Birthday to you, You’re 102! as she celebrated with family recently at Riverside Hostel.
It was a double celebration for Mavis as she was also presented with the inaugural Mary Smith Trophy, awarded to the winner of Riverside’s NRL Tipping Competition.
Mavis was born in Balmain in 1915 and is a Tiger supporter at heart.
She takes a keen interest in all forms of football, following not only NRL but also Rugby, especially Drummoyne and more recently Aussie Rules and the Swannies.
Mary Smith, who resided for many years in Riverside Cottages and then the hostel, was her best friend and a sports fanatic.
Mary spent many hours watching sport on Foxtel and loved participating in the annual tipping competition.
She had many years of statistics written in little notebooks that she studied to help her make her selections. She was leading the competition for the third year in a row when she passed away, three weeks shy of her 99th birthday.
The perpetual trophy was donated by Mavis’ family in memory of her friend – a fitting tribute in her family’s opinion.
And then Mavis turned out to be it’s first winner!
One of Mary’s granddaughters, Natalie Cuthel came to the celebration to present the trophy to Mavis.
Receiving the trophy marked another milestone in this remarkable lady’s long life!
The year that was – 1915
It was the year of the dawn landing at Anzac Cove.
The world was at war, and gas masks, armoured tanks and sonar detection of submarines were the new inventions being employed in the battles.
The war aside, another invention was Pyrex glassware
Australia was a young nation, only 14 years into Federation, the population was nudging five million and the average age was 24 (compared to 37 today).
A block of land was 200 pounds ($340) and milk was three pence a litre (less than five cents).
Less than one in 20 Australians was aged over 65 (‘old age’); now it is almost one in five.
The Prime Minister was Andrew Fisher, who resigned the prime ministership on 25 October, 1915 to become Australian High Commissioner in London. He handed the leadership to Billy Hughes.