Amy to become Fairfield Grange’s first centenarian
Seafood could be one of the secrets to living a long life, according to the son of Townsville’s newest centenarian.
Amy Beasley will become the first resident of the Carinity Fairfield Grange aged care community to be inducted into the Carinity 100 Club for centenarians when she celebrates her 100th birthday on May 7.
She was born Amy Bolam in Charters Towers in 1922, the second of nine children. Amy grew up in the small sugar cane town Giru, located between Townsville and Ayr.
Times were tough for the Bolam family during the Great Depression, but Amy’s son Bob Beasley reckons it may have helped contribute to his mother’s longevity.
“The Depression years and grinding poverty caused the family to innovate to cope. The three older brothers supplied an adequate quantity of prawns, mud crab and barramundi which was the staple diet – and perhaps the cause of her long life,” Bob said.
Amy’s early memories of growing up in Giru include receiving a sausage from the butcher at Christmas, a “real treat and a change from the seafood staple”. The Bolam sisters used to stand outside the local cinema and hope the owner would let them in if there was room.
When the Haughton River flooded Amy’s brothers would lift the beds off their home’s dirt floor on to kerosene tins, so the family slept dry during high tide flooding. In the morning the boys would clear the house of visiting snakes before the girls got up.
As was common during that era, Amy left Giru primary school before completing her studies. One of her first jobs was working as a housemaid at the local hotel at the age of 14.
Amy met and married Frank Beasley, a timber mill labourer and future taxi driver, soon after the end of World War II. They built their first home in Townsville and began raising their four children there.
As her children grew up, Amy was very active assisting with school and church activities. She enjoyed playing tennis and loved gardening. Her daughter Joanne Turner said her mother was “a brilliant cook, with homemade biscuits and cakes always on hand.”
Amy rode a Daimler Pusch motor scooter then upgraded to a Morris Minor ute, used to transport children to swimming holes and buy eggs from a farm on the way home.
Amy loved to travel. Graduating from family tent camping to caravanning, she and Frank drove their camper van around Australia. Amy also visited Canada, USA, Ireland, UK, and Norfolk Island.
Later in life, she enjoyed keeping pace with joggers on Townsville bikeways while riding her mobility scooter, giving kids on skateboards a tow.
Keeping active in her later years kept Amy going both mentally and physically. Her favourite pursuits included attending bingo, the local RSL club and enjoying ‘morning melodies’ concerts with friends.
Amy, who has seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, will be the first Carinity Fairfield Grange resident to turn 100 since the aged care community in Idalia opened in 2016.