Fitness the key to long life, says Belmont’s 99-year-old Maisie Kilgallon

Maisie Kilgallon (right) celebrates her 99th birthday with friend Phyllis Worth.  Picture: Matt Jelonek d472554
Maisie Kilgallon (right) celebrates her 99th birthday with friend Phyllis Worth. Picture: Matt Jelonek d472554

WEEKLY fitness classes and a little tai chi are Maisie Kilgallon’s tips for reaching 99.

The Belmont local was taken by surprise when her friends threw her a birthday celebration at the Belmont RSL Sub-Branch.

“It was wonderful, because I knew nothing about it. I was shocked,” Mrs Kilgallon said.

“It’s starting to wear off now, I’m heading for the big one.”

Mrs Kilgallon moved to Belmont from Kalgoorlie, after meeting husband Tom up north in Laverton.

“I was only 16 when I met him. We got married, had the children in Kalgoorlie at the time of the the end of the war.”

The long-time RSL member and mother of five, who was part of the RSL Women’s Auxiliary Service, has now lived in Belmont for around 70 years, working for Swan Portland until she was 63 then volunteering her time at the club.

“I always seemed to be doing something,” Mrs Kilgallon said.

“The head man said ‘how about trying to learn the bar?’, and I said ‘oh I’ll be in it’. So I went in there.”

Phyllis Worth (91) and Christina Rodgers (100) became fast friends with Mrs Kilgallon at the RSL.

“Years ago when we first were here, we had a dance once a month with a one man band, he was great. It was wonderful,” Mrs Worth said.

“We’ve had holidays together for about 30 years. Every year we use our free pass. I think we’ve been all over WA, just about.

“The three of us just clicked, you know. Played cards, gone to the movies… I don’t think we’ve ever had arguments, any of us.”

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