Gwen Kippen celebrates her 100th birthday with son Rob and daughter Roslyn.
Gwen Kippen celebrates her 100th birthday with son Rob and daughter Roslyn.

MILESTONES: Gwendoline hits a century

VERY special milestone was celebrated in Maclean this week as Gwendoline Kippen hit a century.

The mother of two, who moved to Maclean about seven years ago, spent the day with family, albeit a reduced number due to coronavirus restrictions.

Born on June 22, 1920, Mrs Kippen grew up in the Brisbane suburb of Banyo with her two sisters and a brother.

Her son, Rod Kippen, said every day she used to make the journey to Virginia State School on horseback, something which would be about as unheard of today as having your own cow in the backyard for a daily milk supply – which her family had too.

At age 21 she married Murray Alexander Kippen, right in the midst of World War II.

Mr Kippen said his mother spent the early years of her marriage helping charities and when her children Rod and Roslyn came along she became very involved in the school P&C committee.

Gwen Kippen in the 1940s.
Gwen Kippen in the 1940s.

“When the kids flew the coop she became involved in the local senior citizens association and was an inaugural member and treasurer,” he said.

“I think her service work is probably what she is most proud of and most respected for.”

Mr Kippen said one of the most important and memorable roles his mother had was as ‘brown owl’ for the local Brownie Guides group in Sandgate, Brisbane.

The ‘brown owl’ was the leader of Brownies, a Girl Guides group, and Mr Kippen said she counted Kerri-Anne Kennerley as one of her charges.

“Eight years she was a leader there, so many messages she received for her 100th birthday were actually from the Brownies,” he said.

“She has very fond memories of that time, she had a twinkle in her eye and remembered everybody who sent their congratulations through.”