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Fiercely independent: Margaret’s story

Mar 23, 2023

Margaret Kay is an example of how pursuing interests can keep your mind and body active and provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment in life. Margaret’s passion for painting began over four decades ago when she was looking for something to keep her busy and provide a social outlet. Since then, she has been avidly painting and at 94, is now the oldest member of The Colour Circle, a paint group in Mount Nelson that she attends every week.

Despite not always being in the mood for it, Margaret perseveres and criticizes herself if she doesn’t “get up, put on some earrings and lipstick” and go to the paint group. The social outlet and different lessons and themes each week keep things fresh for her, and she enjoys interacting with different artists of all ages. Outside of painting, the group also operates a swap table where they swap things ranging from plants to books or just bric-a-brac. They also have a cancer charity support where they raise money for cancer research.

Margaret describes herself as being “fiercely independent all my life” and it’s this tenacity which fuels her to stay social and get out and about. She talks to her friends on the phone every day, loves to read, and considers laughter “the most important part of her day”. Her passion for painting has been rewarded with lifetime membership to the Art Society of Tasmania, where she has previously held the position of Vice President.

Recently, Margaret had the opportunity to exhibit some of her paintings at the Long Gallery in Salamanca as part of the Wooden Boat Festival. The theme was ‘Water,’ and Margaret enjoyed positive feedback on her works.

When starting out on a new painting, Margaret says she doesn’t know what she’s going to do; she just starts painting, and it grows from there. She likes to paint the sea and will often go back and paint over previous paintings to try something new.

Her motto in life is, “You’re never too old to set another goal or to set a new dream,” which is evident in the way she continues to pursue her passion for painting and stay active and engaged with the community around her.

Margaret’s story is a reminder that it is never too late to discover a new passion or pursue an existing one. It can provide a sense of purpose, keep our minds and bodies sharp and provide a social outlet that’s so important for our wellbeing.

Margaret receives in-home supports from Community Based Support and appreciates the impact it’s had on her life, saying, “I’d be quite a miserable, depressed old lady if I didn’t have the CBS team supporting me. It’s certainly kept me going, it’s wonderful.”

You can see some of Margaret’s beautiful paintings below.

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