Town says final goodbye to the Golden Girls
BORN one century ago - in the same year as Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam - Mary Hilary Kavanagh always knew she was destined for greatness.
Mary, along with her three sisters Margaret, Kathleen and Cecilia were known as the 'Thagoona Golden Girls'.
The town paused to remember the sisters recently after Mary, the last remaining 'Golden Girl', passed away on September 14.
Mary was born on January 10, 1916 at Ipswich Private Hospital; the youngest child of Stephen Kavanagh and Catherine O'Shea.
At this time, the family lived at Lake Clarendon. In the early 1920s, Mr Kavanagh bought the grocery store and post office in Glenore Grove, and moved into a house close to the shop.
In 1922, Mary began her formal schooling at Glenore Grove State School.
There she remained until 1926 when the family moved to Thagoona, so Catherine could care for her father.
It was at that time Mary commenced school at St Brigid's Convent.
She recalled it being during school sports' time and she, the newcomer, won all the races. This was perhaps the beginning of her sporting life.
In 1928, she began her eighteen-month scholarship at St Mary's in Ipswich where she boarded.
Mary achieved a number of accolades as a sports person.
She was a keen horsewoman and as a golfer, she won the 'Rose Bowl' at Gailes Golf Club representing Ipswich Golf Club.
Mary played inter-club sports at Laidley and showed great skills as a tennis player.
She also loved dancing and was a regular at the Marburg dance and the Rosewood Show Ball.
Another side of her life was her dedication to her family. From helping her relatives on the farm to caring for both her late father and mother she put others first.
Mary's faith was also central to her life.
Her personal contributions include being a Eucharistic minister, cleaning the church, polishing the vessels, holding mass at home and inviting parishioners to her home for rosary and attended mass up until July this year.
One of Mary's biggest fans, Cr David Pahlke, said the tight-knit rural community would miss one of their longest-standing residents in Mrs Kavanagh.
"Rosewood has lost something very endearing with the passing of Mary - Mary was loved by many and was rarely without a visitor, during her final years at Cabanda Aged Care," he said.
"The Thagoona Golden Girls were legendary. I can recall having morning tea with the sister and their weekly visits to Rosewood together. They were a close-knit family, and they looked after each other."