Family, friends and faith bridge the age gap
DRESSED to impress, Maryborough's oldest and active bridge player is winning and grinning from ear to ear at 101 years old.
Olive Williams (nee Davies) was born near Gayndah in the Binjour Plateau area and grew up there with her family parents and five siblings.
At the age of 18 she moved to Maryborough to work as a tailoress and by 21 had met and married the love of her life, Robert Williams.
Olive and Robert had three children, Wendy, Dale and Brian.
Olive led a full and active life as a young woman, not only raising a family but also playing tennis, golf, bowls and bridge.
This latter became a passion for her and she has a remarkable career in the area of bridge.
Olive was a founder member of the Maryborough Contract Bridge Club and has a long history of excelling at bridge.
"I found an interest in bridge after a lesson with Judy Valentine who had just moved to Maryborough,” Olive said.
"I got so involved, I stayed with it.”
Her first Pairs Championship win was in 1972, and since then she has won 21 pairs championships with various partners.
In 1973 Olive won her first Teams Championship, and to date has been a member of sixteen winning teams.
Olive plays bridge several times a week, and is a regular winner of master points at club sessions.
In 2016 she has been in the top three on 26 occasions.
Over the years she has played in congresses at Canberra, Gold Coast, Rockhampton, Sydney and in Western Australia to name just a few.
When asked what had contributed to her longevity she had a very simple formula of three "Fs" - family, friends and faith.
Friends and bridge partners all say they don't think there are a lot of people at 101 year old doing an activity that takes this level of concentration.
"I still do my own washing, my cooking - my mind is active - if I was able I could do a lot more,” Olive said.
After turning 100 Olive thought about giving up her bridge commitments but she jumped on a plane to Melbourne, did some serious shopping and then realised she needed an outing to show off her new wardrobe.
Not only is she still playing but she also teaches bridge.
"But then I let my partner down but we just laugh it off,” she said.
"We all try to win - it is very competitive.”