Num­ber one turn­ing 100

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY ROBERT MUIR

Wit­ness­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of elec­tric­ity and hot wa­ter in the early 1940s, ar­riv­ing to towns in a Bed­ford truck to judge belle of balls and a strong sport­ing back­ground have been among many big oc­ca­sions for Yar­ra­wonga’s Doris Head who turns 100-years-of-age this Sun­day, June 4.

And what a day it will be for the spritely lady who is Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Golf Club Re­sort’s num­ber one mem­ber.

“I am a very lucky lady to have lived through these years and pray for my fam­ily and ex­tended fam­ily in the fu­ture. I’ve cher­ished all the friend­ships over all these years,” Doris told the Yar­ra­wonga Chron­i­cle.

How do you feel about al­most be­ing 100 Doris? “Noth­ing’s changed. I’m still ac­tive and in­ter­ested in ev­ery­thing,” the mother of two chil­dren, six grand­chil­dren, seven great grand­chil­dren and two great great grand­chil­dren said.

“I’ve seen enor­mous change from horse and gig days, born dur­ing the first World War, seen World War 2 - it was tough in those days and I was a plane spot­ter - made my own but­ter and cooked over an open fire. We had a cool­gar­die safe then ice for an ice chest - our first fridge.”

Born in Syd­ney, Doris was raised by an aunt in How­long where the young girl at­tended school and played ten­nis and bas­ket­ball, and danced in How­long, Bur­rum­but­tock and Brock­lesby.

Af­ter leav­ing school, Doris be­came a shear­ers’ cook for the Viles fam­ily and later mar­ried Ern Maxwell, a farmer.

First mode of trans­port was a motor bike with side car in 1937. With their two chil­dren, Les­ley and Doug, aged five and three years, Doris and Ern moved to Yar­ra­wonga in De­cem­ber 1941 via car.

“I could not be­lieve all the wa­ter when we drove across the bridge from NSW to Vic­to­ria,” Doris re­called. “It was al­ways such a dry area out at Brock­lesby/How­long way.

“We rented a lit­tle house in Rus­sell Street. It was lovely to have run­ning wa­ter and not have to fill a fur­phy for wa­ter, and also to have lights from a switch, not a laden lantern for our light; an or­gan stove was a delight es­pe­cially as I loved cook­ing and this also gave us hot wa­ter.

“We bought a house in Telford Street which had a big back­yard be­cause my hus­band, be­ing a farmer, de­cided that he’d do trans­port­ing with trucks.

“When we moved from Brock­lesby, I thought I might miss my ten­nis, bas­ket­ball and danc­ing but soon found the ten­nis club and be­came pres­i­dent and sec­re­tary of vari- ous com­mu­nity and sport­ing clubs. Danc­ing was won­der­ful in the town hall.”

With danc­ing part­ners, Doris won many com­pe­ti­tions in Yar­ra­wonga, How­long and Brock­lesby.

For six years, Doris trained debu­tantes for St Cuth­bert’s Church of Eng­land and judged Belle of Balls, ar­riv­ing via truck to out of town places such as Corowa. She was also a judge for Miss Vic­to­ria and Miss Aus­tralia.

“The ‘Blue Rib­bon Ball’ was a huge suc­cess when Heather Men­zies, daugh­ter of Prime Min­is­ter Robert Men­zies, re­ceived the debs,” Doris said.

In 1943 Doris joined the Yar­ra­wonga Lawn Ten­nis Club. She and Ern joined the Yar­ra­wonga and Bor­der Golf Club in 1947, play­ing golf and bowls for many years. Doris was awarded life mem­ber­ship of the club in 1992 and was made a life mem­ber of St Cuth­bert’s Women’s Aux­il­iary af­ter 45 years of ser­vice.

Meals on Wheels, with con­venor David Skewes in 1962, was an­other com­mu­nity ac­tiv­ity that Doris gave freely of her time.

Sadly, in 1976, Ern passed away. Even­tu­ally, Doris met an­other won­der­ful and car­ing man in Keith Head whom she mar­ried in 1984. Keith was the last Yar­ra­wonga Shire Pres­i­dent be­fore the much ex­panded Moira Shire.

A thought­ful host­ess, Doris hosted dig­ni­taries at her home, al­ways the el­e­gant host­ess.

Daugh­ter Les­ley has made nu­mer­ous trips over many years from Mel­bourne to see her Mum, for whom she was full of praise.

Les­ley and her brother Doug, who un­for­tu­nately has passed away, were very ap­pre­cia­tive of their mother giv­ing up a wages job to send them to board­ing school - Les­ley to Mel­bourne and Doug to Wan­garatta.

“Mum’s al­ways been an out­stand­ing and car­ing mother,” Les­ley said.

“Reach­ing 100 is a won­der­ful achieve­ment and she has been so ac­tively in­volved in so many things she’s loved.”

1992...Doris Head was made a Life Mem­ber of Yar­ra­wonga and Bor­der Golf Club.

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