Margaret Holloway with her grand-daughter Marguerite Masterman.
Margaret Holloway with her grand-daughter Marguerite Masterman. CONTRIBUTED

A century of memories including bombs and Hitler

A FORMER school teacher and netball coach from Brookfield 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 about 4250 centenarians in Australia.

During her life, Margaret has witnessed the world at war, man walking on the moon, the invention of television and the advent of the computer age.

Born in Oulton, a tiny village in Yorkshire, England in 1919, Margaret was one of six siblings. She went to school for only a few years before working as a farm labourer.

"My mother lived through the depression but because they were farmers they had enough to live on,” Margaret's daughter Francoise Masterman said.

Margaret was a high-school geography teacher for most of her life, spoke fluent German and French 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 said.

Margaret Holloway cutting her 100th birthday cake
Margaret Holloway cutting her 100th birthday cake contributed

"I saw Hitler. I had a German pen pal and I did a student exchange to Germany in 1936 and we went to Berlin to attend the Olympic Games and Hitler was there.”

When she was in her early 20s, Margaret wanted to serve her country by undertaking war service during World War II.

"Four siblings were involved in military action during the war, including one brother who was a captain in the navy and one who was a fighter pilot,” Francoise said.

"My mother wanted to contribute to the war effort but due to the shortage of teachers at that time, she was urged to teach.

"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, to be near her only daughter. She settled at Wynnum, where she lived in her own home until the age of 97 and taught at nearby Moreton Bay College.

She celebrated 100 years with a family party.


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