Red hats, big personalities

WHEN I grow up I want to be... Florence Slattery.

At 93 she is everything your average granny is not.

Stylishly groomed without a patch of fussy tweed in sight; full of fun and frivolity with a repertoire of naughty jokes and a quick laugh she is as bubbly as pricey champagne.

“Some people are old at 40, some people are young at 70, it's simply a matter of choice,” she explained.

The Rose City pianist, who founded the Red Hat Society in Australia, definitely fits the later category.

Today she is “Supreme Matriarch” to the nation's group for women aged 50-plus who celebrate fun and frivolous times wearing outlandish red hats and dressed top to toe in purple.

The concept centred on poet Jenny Joseph's famous work Warnings advocates growing old disgracefully.

“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me... And run my stick along the public railings, And make up for the sobriety of my youth; I shall go out in my slippers in the rain, And pick flowers in other people's gardens.”

Mrs Slattery started the first Red Hat Society in Warwick in 2000 at the suggestion of an American friend.

Today the Australian organisation has 260 chapters and thousands of lipsticked, stiletto-wearing senior members snubbing traditional images of faded, grey grannies.

“Ours really is a sisterhood letting us relive our youth, empowering us and giving us confidence to really embrace life,” she explained.

“There is nothing I like more than seeing a woman wearing a red hat with a big smile on her face. It is a wonderful thing.”

For her kicking off the Red Hat Society was simply part of 'making a life for herself'.

“I was widowed and I just had to make a life for myself and be independent I didn't want to be a nuisance to my daughters,” Mrs Slattery said.

The Daily News caught up with the personable retiree on her return from the sisterhood's annual Girlfriends Giggle where this year 450 red hatters partied at the Sunshine Coast.

Her Rose City counterparts will willingly testify this spry grandmother remains the life of the party.

“Florence didn't join the conga line at the coast because her knee was playing up, but that didn't stop her tap dancing until midnight,” Fay Wickham explained.

At an age where others her generation may be tempted to slow down, Florence Slattery is considering anything but.

“Life is short, have fun, be happy and don't feel your age too much,” she said.

And she won't make apologies for the laughter or the raised eyebrows that generally accompany her Red Hat outings.

“Get a group of us together and it's like being at an Ingham chicken farm on a quiet day.”

Weather warning for Darling Downs due to Cyclone Debbie

Revised forecasts now show up to 120mm of rain is possible tomorrow

Repair funding up for grabs for Southern Downs

SAFETY DEVELOPMENT: Member for Northern Tablelands (NSW) Adam Marshall, Tenterfield Shire Council Mayor Peter Petty, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Roads and Maritime Services freight and regional general manager Eric Shegog at the opening of the new Bookookoorara Creek bridge on the Mount Lindesay Rd, which was replaced thanks to funding from the Federal Government Bridges Renewal Program.

Federal funding could bring boost to bridges around region

Westside: Revitalising a community hub

WEST WORKS: Westside owner Kieran Doherty oversees a complete resurfacing of the centre carpark.

The centre has undergone months of major work

Local Partners

Historic show win for Warwick grazier

Grazier claims Warwick Show cattle gong five decades after first title.

Future Islands gear up for Splendour gig

Future Islands is an American synthpop band composed of Gerrit Welmers (keyboards and programming), William Cashion (bass, acoustic and electric guitars), and Samuel T. Herring (lyrics and vocals).

Their new album is "music from the heart than from the mind".

Open day at shooting at Warwick Clay Target Club

REGULARS: Keith Rowling and Cheryl McCullough are shooters and volunteers at the Warwick Clay Target Club which has its open shoot on Sunday.

Warwick Clay Target Club ready for open shoot

Warwick goes well against premiers before going down

BALL ON FOOT: Jamie Saunders in possession for Warwick in football in Toowoomba fixtures.

Strong performance by Warwick Wolves in premier grade

MOVIE REVIEW: LEGO Batman best caped crusader yet

Nana! Nana! Nana! Nana! Nana! Batman!

Future Islands gear up for Splendour gig

Future Islands is an American synthpop band composed of Gerrit Welmers (keyboards and programming), William Cashion (bass, acoustic and electric guitars), and Samuel T. Herring (lyrics and vocals).

Their new album is "music from the heart than from the mind".

MOVIE REVIEW: Power Rangers way out of their league

Becky G., Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Ludi Lin, and RJ Cyler in a scene from the movie Power Rangers.

A Lego action figure is capable of running rings around teen misfits

Bliss N Eso announce a stack of regional tour dates

Aussie rappers Bliss N Eso are hitting the road in May for a 27-date national tour.

AUSSIE rappers hitting the road in May with new album.

Scarlett Johansson reveals the huge roles she’s lost out on

Scarlett Johansson greets fans at the Japan World Premiere of the movie Ghost In The Shell.

GHOST in the Shell star shares ups and downs of Hollywood.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life puts Alien’s Ridley Scott on notice

Rebecca Ferguson in a scene from the movie Life.

RYAN Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson star in epic sci-fi thriller.

MKR villain claims producers ‘blackmailed’ him

MKR's Josh has slammed the show's producers, claiming they tried to "blackmail" him.

Josh has hit back at the show with claims about being “blackmailed”.

Calling all renovators at heart

Solid home on 617sq m between beach and CBD development

This is what Sunshine Coast living is all about

Life's a breeze at stylish Alexandra Headland apartment

Timing pays dividends in Kawana health hub precinct


Construction starts at Sunshine Coast mixed-use project in Birtinya

Coffee king snaps up gym

Mooloolaba Healthworks site sells for $2.1million

Luxury hotel expands $400m water park development

Developer to push on with second stage of massive new water park

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!