She may be 100 but Beattie Cooke is still capable of getting around town in her Nissan Pulsar.
She may be 100 but Beattie Cooke is still capable of getting around town in her Nissan Pulsar. Craig Warhurst

Beattie makes it to a century and she's still revving up

WHILE some do 100 at the wheel, Beatrice Cooke is 100 and still behind the wheel.

She may have just celebrated a her 100th birthday, but Beattie is still as stylish as ever and driving.

"I've still got my licence it was renewed in December, but I don't drive a lot anymore, only around Gin Gin," she said.

"It was quite easy to get my licence back in the day, we were friendly with the policeman who used to work out in Gin Gin, we used to drive around without a licence and when I went for it he said 'gee I've seen you driving around' and I said yeah.

"But it was different back then, there weren't many people around and there weren't many cars around - you got your licence and that was it."

Beattie has three children, eight grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren with her husband Bill Cooke, who unfortunately passed away 43 years ago.

"Well we both lived in the same district, so we both went to the dances," she said.

"Every Saturday night there would be a dance at the hall and now there never is, we would travel to dances at various halls.

"We sat on the back of an open truck with our legs dangling over the side and we eventually went to the dances in a utility.

"That's all you ever did in those days - every day was nearly the same, but now it's all a rush and different."

 

BEATTIE STILL THE BOSS: Beatrice Cooke celebrated her 100th birthday in style.
BEATTIE STILL THE BOSS: Beatrice Cooke celebrated her 100th birthday in style.

Beattie was born on December 30, 1916 at the Lady Chelmsford Hospital here in Bundaberg.

Beattie said over the years she's seen a lot of change, from the introduction of electricity to the technological advancement of iPads and iPhones.

She used to work on the farm as a child to help her father and when she was married, Beattie and Bill bought their own cane and dairy farm.

She attended Bucca school and is currently the oldest ex-student the school had.

Her daughter Marion said Beattie would usually walk or ride a horse to school and reminisced over the fond memory of school picnics where they would have ham sandwiches and watermelon.

Up until she turned 95, Beattie played competitive bowls and still goes up to the Gin Gin Bowls Club very third Friday to watch and lend a hand.

"If I played now I'd probably fall over," she said.

To celebrate a century, Beattie had two parties - one in the afternoon and one which went from 6pm until all hours of the night.

Beattie said she doesn't think of it was turning 100, "it's just another number."

"It's just day by day," she said.

Having never touched a cigarette or a drink, she said to make it to 100 all you've got to do is keep active and work hard.

She said you've got to stay active to remain active.

Beattie now resides with her daughter Marion and her husband, Alan, at Skyring Reserve Rd in Gin Gin.

Marion said "she's now looking for the 105th, so she can get a letter from William."


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