MUSICAL MEMORIES: Former piano teacher Mary McCaig holds dear to her favourite past-time, playing the piano.
MUSICAL MEMORIES: Former piano teacher Mary McCaig holds dear to her favourite past-time, playing the piano.

Ahh, guess what Mary? You?re 101

By JULIA ILES

julia.iles@dailyexaminer.com.au

AN incorrect birthdate on admission papers when Mary McCaig moved to the Clarence Nursing Home meant that she missed her 100th and 101st birthdays, and that all important letter from the Queen.

It was only recently discovered when staff sighted her birth certificate that she was actually born in 1904, not 1910 as was believed.

But the oversight doesn't seem to bother Mary, 101, who is not interested in when she was born anyway.

Nursing home activities officer Kerrianne Howard shouts my questions into her good left ear so she can understand.

"Usually she calls me a cheeky little wretch," Ms Howard said.

But Mary's hearing impairment in the same fashion as Beethoven doesn't stop her from playing the piano.

She was formerly a well-known piano teacher who tutored students from her home.

It also led to a marriage with one of her students, Frank.

"He said to me 'don't you ever have time off' and asked me to the Prince Edward Theatre," she said.

Mary and Frank will later this year celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary and although he doesn't live at the nursing home, he visits for lunch two to three times a week. And after all these years she doesn't know what the secret to a long life is but said: "I don't drink, or smoke".

Originally from Scotland, Mary was born in Glascow and migrated with her family when she was sixyears-old.

"The best times were with Mum and Dad; Dad would teach dancing and we would join in," Mary said, doing a highland fling from her wheelchair.



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