OUR PEOPLE

Wellington Point retiree Peggy Coe celebrates 95 years of helping people in need

A beloved Wellington Point retiree who dedicated her life to helping others is being celebrated this week for her 95th birthday.

OUR PEGGY: Peggy Coe will celebrate her 95th birthday with her family when the Queensland border re-opens.

OUR PEGGY: Peggy Coe will celebrate her 95th birthday with her family when the Queensland border re-opens.

Peggy Coe has lived in the Redlands for the past 30 years, but was born in England on December 6, 1926.

She grew up in Eltham, south-east England, and worked making battery coils for airplanes during World War II.

She met her life-long partner, George, at a dance when she was just 20, and the pair were married.

They had eight children, and at one point, five were all under the age of five.

In search of a better life, the couple moved their family to Australia.

HARD WORKER: During World War II Peggy Coe worked making battery coils for airplanes.

HARD WORKER: During World War II Peggy Coe worked making battery coils for airplanes.

Ms Coe's daughter Trish Hurley said her mother left her close siblings to give her children more opportunities.

"She is the most caring, loving and the most unselfish person we know," Ms Hurley said.

"She left her eight brothers and sisters in England so that we would have a wonderful life with equal opportunity as long as we worked hard.

"We have all climbed the ladder of success in our various employments and loved every minute of being here."

In Australia, Ms Coe and her husband found work opening The Outlook at Austinmer, New South Wales, the first accommodation to support people with mental or intellectual disabilities in the country.

Opened in 1969, the home helped de-institutionalise patients from psychiatric hospitals which closed across Sydney.

"My parents took their own parenting style and lent it to the Outlook residents, wherein they gave just enough love strength and compassion combined with self-discipline and no judgement, along with the right to make some of their own mistakes and learn from them," Ms Hurley said.

Initially they helped 17 people and their families to re-start their lives, and many more as the program expanded and they opened two more homes for people in need.

George passed away in April of 1995, and Ms Coe has lived at Wellington Point with her daughter since a hip replacement.

She has 18 grandchildren and a host of great grandchildren, who she hopes to celebrate with when the Queensland border re-opens.

Ms Hurley said the secret to Peggy's long life was the care she showed for others.

"Love is the secret. Her love for us, our love for her," she said.

"She is truly an amazing woman."