Mary to celebrate milestone birthday

A devoted former charity worker and avid dancer will celebrate her 100th birthday this weekend.

Mary Ryan, who lives at the Carinity Clifford House aged care community in Wooloowin, will join the exclusive centenarian’s club on Sunday.


Mary Ryan, who lives at the Carinity Clifford House aged care community in Brisbane, will celebrate her 100th birthday on 3 April
Mary Ryan, who lives at the Carinity Clifford House aged care community in Brisbane, will celebrate her 100th birthday on 3 April.

She was born Mary Lydia Lynch at Wilkies Nursing Home in Annerley in Brisbane to parents Patrick and Mary Lynch on 3 April 1922.

Mary grew up in Annerley, went to school there and enjoyed social activities in the district. She attended St Joseph’s Convent School in Annerley – now known as Mary Immaculate Primary School – and enjoyed watching movies at the Boomerang Theatre just down the road.

During World War II, Mary commenced her career in Censorship and Telegraph with the Postmaster-General in Brisbane, where she worked for 14 years.

A practicing Catholic all of her life, Mary was a member of the Legion of Mary in her youth and was a Cub Leader at Dutton Park Scout Group.

Mary loved dancing. She enjoyed events at the iconic Cloudland in Brisbane and each week attended Sandy Robinson’s dance studio. It was there she met her future husband, a carpenter named Joseph Ryan.

They married in 1954 at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church – in Annerley, of course – and raised three sons, named Brian, Michael and Peter.


Mary on her wedding day in October 1954.
Mary on her wedding day in October 1954.

Throughout her life, Mary volunteered in support of numerous charities. She made clothes for underprivileged children overseas and crafted dolls’ clothes for school fetes and charities to sell. Mary was also part of the women’s group at her church and served at tuckshops at local schools.

An avid Brisbane Broncos supporter, Mary has three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She lived in her family home at Dutton Park from 1954 to 2016, when she moved to the Carinity Clifford House aged care community.

Mary will join Ann Damen and Alison Woodroffe in the Carinity Clifford House 100 Club for centenarians at a special 100th birthday party with family and friends at the aged care community on Monday.

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