Meet our most recent member of the Centenarian Club.

March 26, 2023

Meet Betty. Mayflower’s most recent member of the Centenarian Club.

Betty's life is an extraordinary tale of perseverance, adventure, and love spanning over a century.

Betty was born into a poor family in Margate, England, where she lost her mother at the tender age of 7. Despite these challenges, Betty never lost her love for life or her determination to make something of herself.

During World War II, Betty's life changed in ways she could never imagine.

She joined the British Army's Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), where she learned to drive and fix engines.

She drove ambulances, trucks, motorbikes, and staff cars across many parts of England, Wales, and Scotland. Her bravery, resourcefulness, and love of adventure propelled her far from the shores of England.

It was during this time that Betty met Elizabeth, another young woman helping the war effort, before she became Queen.

“The war didn’t intimidate mum,” says Betty’s daughter, Sue, “rather it provided her with training and opportunity.”After the war, Betty's thirst for knowledge and new experiences continued to guide her.

She trained in providing supplies to hotels and obtained a position in occupied Germany. That is where she met Ernest Weate, Australian Army officer helping repatriate Australian servicemen back home. They married in England in 1947 and came to live in Melbourne in the early 1950s.

Pictured above: Betty is well known for her smile that could light a room.

Betty was a devoted wife and continues to be a loving mother to Jan and Sue. She has looked after her family very well indeed.

Betty also managed to fit in further education, earning several degrees in fine art, design, pottery and education while working full-time as a pottery and art teacher. Many of her works of art can be seen decorating her room today as she continues her creativity with yarn art and the occasional spot of painting during Craft Group.

“I hate knitting,” smiles Betty, as she works on her latest knitting project and reaches for another ball of yarn.

Betty's lifetime of determination, creativity and achievement is truly remarkable, considering she left school at the age of 14.

But Betty's life wasn't all work and no play. She loved her life with Ernest, and after his passing in 1983, she met Bert Turner. Together, they travelled widely and dived into real estate with gusto.

Betty made many friends along the way, from her war years to her adult pottery classes to living in Brighton, Noosaville and Bright. Her generosity was legendary, and she was always there to lend a hand, even in the most challenging situations.

“Mum has always been very generous towards friends in need, being there for them and helping them,” says Sue

“I can remember from the Ash Wednesday Bushfires, she lent her car to someone she didn’t know particularly well. She has always been just so generous.”

In her later years, Betty moved to Mayflower Brighton, where she continued to live her life with the same grace, kindness, and love that had guided her all her life.

“I must mention Mayflowers level of care, communication and assistance has been exemplary,” says Betty’s daughter, Sue.

“Everyone has always been friendly, efficient, and helpful. Thank you to all the staff at Mayflower, you have made our recent journey with Betty so much easier.”

Betty has now lived at Mayflower for over 11 years.

Being a social butterfly, Betty will attend any activity on to spend time with others, especially activities centred around music (Happy hour!) and creativity, such as Craft Group.

”Betty will always make two of everything, one for each daughter, one for Jan, and one for Sue,” says Lifestyle assistant, Debbie.

Betty's daughter, Sue, sums up her mother's remarkable life so far in the most heart-warming way possible: "Mum is a strong, loving, and generous presence in our lives, always there, always in the background, and she was always willing to drop everything and help no matter what."

As Betty turns 100, it's hard not to feel awed by her life and inspired by her spirit. Betty has lived through wars, travelled the world, raised a family, pursued her passions, become an artist and made countless friends along the way.

Betty is a testament to the power of determination, love, and kindness, and her story will continue to inspire generations to come.

Pictured above: A picture of grace - Betty in her younger years

Pictured above: (supplied by family) is a drawing of betty on a motorbike as a dispatch driver, from the Second World War