Tuesday, 15 July 2008


Yesterday I heard on the radio about the death of Olive Riley who at 108 was the world's oldest blogger! She lived in a small town, Woy Woy, in NSW, Australia, and wrote about her life. I heard an interview with her which was made when she was 104 and she was as bright as a button and sounded like a real character. She led a very hard life, struggling to clothe and feed her children after leaving her badly behaved husband (that is how she described him) back when she would have been about 30....only about 78 years ago!

She lived in Adelaide for while with her mother and told the story of the night her youngest child was sick with an ear ache. Another child she knew had died recently from such an infection so she was determined to take her son to the doctor. After a full day's hard work she bundled him up warmly and sat him on the handle bars of her push bike and rode to the doctor, some miles away. The doctor lanced an abscess and told her to come back the next day, this she did each day until she was given the all clear.

With her meagre salary working washing dishes in a hotel she was also paying to have her other two children looked after by some nuns. She visited them every day. They all stayed together and later all 4 went to work on a sheep station in outback Queensland, doing whatever was required. Eventually they moved to Sydney so that the children could learn a trade. Whenever decisions were to be made, they made them together. When she asked them if they wanted to go to Sydney or stay on the station, one of them replied " We'll go with you, we know you'll do for us Mum."

Her blog seems to have been taken offline, which is a shame. But here is a blog by a friend which tells a bit about Olive and has one of her last posts on it.

So at 108, she was still liable to enthusiasms....way to go Olive. Here's to wonderful people like Olive and the world of blogs!


1 comment:

Maggie said...

Wonderful story Kate.
What a great lady!