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Century of life

Wednesday, 19th September, 2018

Mavis Payne will celebrate her 100th birthday next week. Mavis Payne will celebrate her 100th birthday next week.

Former local Mavis Payne will celebrate her 100th birthday next week.

Mavis was born on September 29, 1918, and was the third of four daughters born to Emile and Edith Brugeaud.  

They lived in Zebina Street - the house is still there, and from the outside, according to her family, it looks just the same as it did more than 100 years ago.

Mavis went to North School, successfully completing the sixth class exams by coming second in her class - and she always added that she was only beaten by half a mark.

Such a good mark entitled her to continue her education, and she still has the little piece of paper to prove that she was “sufficiently advanced in her studies to be enrolled in the Seventh Class of a Junior Technical, Commercial, Domestic Science, Rural, District, or other Super-Primary School where seats are not competitive”.

Sadly, Mavis did not continue with her education. Although not quite 13, she received an exemption from attending school as her mother had several strokes, and she was required at home to look after her.

In 1942, Mavis married Sidney John (Digger) Payne, and they made a home for themselves and their three children - Sandra (Hogan), Robert and David, in Mica Street.

After Digger’s death in 1969, the family lived for a while in Ryan Lane, and then in Murton Street, her daughter Sandra said.

Mavis attended her church, The Salvation Army, and took an active part in the life of the church.

“For around 15 years she held the position of President/Secretary of the Ladies Fellowship (Home League),” Sandra said.

“She did countless hours of voluntary work when the Algate House Boys’ Home was opened and was also the manager for a while of The Salvation Army’s Op Shop.”

In the late 1950s through to the 1970s, there was a resurgence of The Salvation Army’s program for girls - The Life-Saving Guards (Guards); which was similar to The Girl Guides.

“Mavis was the leader of this group for around eight years, and it gave her great pleasure to know of the significant influence for good this group was to many, many young girls.”

In 1977, Mavis decided to go to Sydney for 12 months and work in a voluntary capacity in one of The Salvation Army’s refuges for women - Samaritan House, which was situated in the inner-city.  

She stayed for seven years and during that time she was honoured with a City of Sydney Citizenship Award.

“At the end of her time working for The Salvation Army, and with close family members no longer living in Broken Hill, she made the difficult decision to leave Broken Hill and go to live in Perth where her sons Robert and David reside,” Sandra said.

“She enjoyed many happy years there with her family, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, but sadly, she now suffers from dementia and is in residential care.”

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