In a life filled with so many special memories, one of Peggy Muller’s most enduring early recollections is of milking cows as a child.
The sprightly 104-year-old, who lives at Wishart Gardens in Brisbane, is the second oldest of the 16 centenarians living in all of Carinity aged care communities around Queensland.
Peggy was born in 1918 and hails from rural Nanango, west of the Sunshine Coast. She was raised on a farm where she recalls, “I started milking cows by hand when I was four.”
Before her family moved to the “big smoke” of Brisbane, Peggy can recall riding a horse to school. She later worked in a factory.
“I worked at a factory, United Packages, which made cardboard cartons. Because I did voluntary work for St John’s Ambulance, when the factory nurse left, they asked if I would take over as the first aid nurse,” Peggy said.
Peggy’s life-long passion has been her charity work, including serving with the Salvation Army. She joined the organisation when she was a teenager and remains a loyal member today.
“When I was little, just a toddler, every time the Salvation Army band used to play along our street I would want to run down and go with them. My mother always said, ‘I think she will be one of those later on’, and I eventually was. I love everything about it: the fellowship, the music, and teaching,” Peggy said.
Peggy received an Exceptional Service Award from the Salvation Army, in recognition of 75 years with the organisation. She also did voluntary work at a Chelmer nursing home for 10 years, visited Greenslopes Hospital as a member of Legacy, and taught religious instruction at schools and churches.
In 1997, Peggy was presented a special award by then Queensland Premier, Rob Borbidge. A newspaper report states that Peggy’s daughters bought her an answering machine as she was so busy being a seven-days-a-week volunteer.
Peggy performed the tambourine in the Salvation Army band, including in concerts at Carinity Wishart Gardens. She still plays the instrument at church services at the aged care community, at which she now lives.
A drawing of Peggy hanging on her bedroom wall was created through the Centenarian Project, an inter-generational art initiative which saw teenaged artists do portraits of people over the age of 100. Peggy and artist, Hasinah, were featured on ABC Australia.
One of Queensland’s oldest royalists, Peggy was recently interviewed by Katrina Blowers from 7 News Brisbane about her memories of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Peggy said she felt “very important” appearing on television.
Peggy lived at the Carinity Wishart Gardens retirement village for more than 15 years. Not wanting to burden her family, she moved herself into the adjacent Carinity aged care community – at the tender age of 100.
“I think it’s a wonderful place to be and I’ve enjoyed it very much the time I’ve been here. The staff are wonderful – I can’t have any complaints at all,” Peggy said.