More than 70 friends and family joined Joan Dooley as she celebrated her 100th birthday at the Crescent Head Surf Life Saving Club on Saturday 20 February.
Joan, who has lived in Crescent Head for 29 years, has a long association with the Macleay as her twin sister, Pat Riggs, was a journalist and then editor of the Macleay Argus for many years.
Born in Sydney in 1921, Joan said one of lasting childhood memories was seeing the arches of the Harbour Bridge join up in 1930.
Upon leaving school, Joan studied to be a teacher, a career that would last for decades.
One of her first teaching positions was in Casino. She was transferred to Broken Hill where she met her husband, Alan, also a teacher. She had a son, Peter in the early 50's before the family moved first to Tamworth and then to Bathurst.
Joan continued to teach until the late 60's when she opened the first of two shops selling clothes for women and children.
In the early 60's Joan join Quota, an international non-profit organisation empowering women and children. Joan said she held many positions including District Governor, South Pacific Area Director and was elected as World Service Chairman.
"I am most proud of my contribution in developing support programs in developing countries, particularly building a home for destitute women and children in India," Joan said.
"Women were taught skills and kids were educated, clothed and fed".
Joan loved travelling through Quota and for pleasure. She took each of her grandchildren on an overseas trip to destinations including Italy and China.
A healthy lifestyle and good genetics is what Joan attributes to her wonderful life.
"In my childhood there was no buses or trams, you had to walk everywhere and grew your own food so diet and exercise are important," she told the Argus.
"Most of my family lives into their 80's and 90's so that plays a role too."
Joan's brother, Milton who lives in Kempsey, her son and daughter in law, four grandchildren and eight great grandchildren all joined Joan for the celebration.
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