BIG DAY: Maybelle Segol will celebrate Australia Day in a big way today. It is her 100th birthday.
BIG DAY: Maybelle Segol will celebrate Australia Day in a big way today. It is her 100th birthday.

Mabs marks 100 years on Australia Day

By RENEE REDMOND

THE only thing Maybelle 'Mabs' Segol regrets over the century of her life is never learning to tap dance.

The Lismore woman celebrates her 100th birthday today, Australia Day, having witnessed world-shaping events of the 20th and 21st centuries.

She rode in a Model-T Ford, the world's first massproduced car, aged nine.

She knitted socks and baked fruit cakes for WWI Diggers on the Western Front, visited the grave of JFK and shook hands with Princess Di and Prince Charles.

However, she says the biggest changes she has seen in her life are happening now.

"I don't think there's ever been a time where so much change has taken place," Mabs said.

"I can't think of anything that isn't different."

Mabs said she didn't see Australia Day as another birthday, but as a day to remember all the great events.

Born on a farm in Walcha in 1905, Mabs was educated by a governess before moving to a private school in Sydney.

She left school at 17 and met her husband, Louis Charles Segol, at a dance in Wee Waa.

"I was very shy. He was a jolly good looking man and could dance," Mabs recalled.

"He was of French descent and they know how to treat a woman."

The couple were married in March, 1929.

"I wore my first pair of silk stockings on my wedding day, and my husband looked like Clark Gable," she giggled.

The couple moved to Narrabri, where they took up a farming life and raised their two daughters, Maybelle and Leonie.

"We were lucky during the Depression because we grew our own produce," she said. It didn't really affect us," she said.

Mabs moved to Casino in 1990 and to Lismore in 1998.

Being a farmer's wife was no obstacle to travelling and Mabs has seen many of the great cities of the world.

"I only wish I could still travel now," she said.

However, Mabs said Australia had always been first in her heart, adding her favourite song was the travellers' anthem, 'I still call Australia home'.



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