BIRTHDAY: Lover of farm life rings in 100 years
IRENE O'Leary has always been a strong-willed woman and nothing has changed as she heads into her 100th year.
At just 18-years-old, she was living with her family at west Talgai when she caught the train from Ellinthorp to go to the dentist in Warwick.
When she returned, there was no one to pick her up.
Being as determined as she is, she walked the full distance home on her own, which she says was about six-and-a-half kilometres.
Mrs O'Leary is now preparing to celebrate her big birthday and puts her longevity down to working hard on the farm she shared with husband Virgil west of Clifton.
Never drinking or smoking may have contributed too.
"Anyone who lived on a farm knows what hard work is, how the women have to help,” she said.
Mrs O'Leary had her work cut out for her, helping to milk cows, sew bags for harvest and raising six children.
Being on the farm was where she was happiest.
"You always had something to do, you had CWA to go to and good neighbours,” Mrs O'Leary said.
She moved to Toowoomba in 1987, living in her own home until she was 97 and driving until she was 95 and still makes time for her favourite hobbies of crochet, reading and doing puzzles.
Mrs O'Leary received a letter from Queen Elizabeth this week to commemorate her upcoming celebration, but the birthday woman was hoping to see a different signature at the bottom.
"I'd rather get it from Harry,” she said.
Now living at Clifton Nursing Home, she has her sights set on being fit for her party on Saturday.
Everyone is invited to attend from 10am-3pm at the nursing home on Norman St, Clifton.