Mary remembers a lifetime of fun

 
  • Much-loved Bridport resident Mary Coote on the balcony of her Bridport home.

• Much-loved Bridport resident Mary Coote on the balcony of her Bridport home.

By Daisy Baker,
28 February, 2018

In her 82 years of life, much-loved Bridport resident Mary Coote has tried her hand at many professions and hobbies.
She moved to Bridport with her husband Kevin in 1985 when he left the army.
They bought a farm overlooking the Bridport airstrip, which Mrs Coote says had a ‘glorious view’.
She spent her first year working at Roberts selling houses, before working at the North Eastern Advertiser for three years.
Mrs Coote says these two positions helped her to settle into the community.
“While I was working in real estate I got to know the district and then working at the Advertiser I got to know the people of Scottsdale,” Mrs Coote says.
“Later I worked in the Bridport surgery for 23 years and while I was there I got to know virtually everyone in Bridport.
“It’s such a lovely community.”
During her years at the Advertiser, Mrs Coote says she got to know all facets of the job.
“I was there during the transition into computers and that was a really interesting time,” she says.
Beyond Mrs Coote’s working life, she’s also been an active member of the North-East community for decades, including teaching line dancing, playing in the Scottsdale ukulele group, serving as a Justice of the Peace and playing music with New Horizons day centre group.
“I used to take my organ to New Horizons every Monday and I’d teach them songs,” she remembers.
“There was one year and I taught them Christmas songs and I printed t-shirts for them and they performed at their Christmas celebration.
“That was really nice because usually they would just sing along to the carols while they sat in the audience, but that year they were the show.”
Mrs Coote’s creativity didn’t stop with printing t-shirts – she also taught calligraphy and hand-wrote the books for Gaye’s funerals, a tradition she says has now been replaced with computer-generated designs.
She says she’s not talented but adaptable.
Mrs Coote is now the full-time carer for Kevin who has Parkinson’s Disease but she says they make an effort to get out and support local events when they can.
She says it is her ‘wacky sense of humour’ that has kept her going over the years.
“If I was going to give a child one gift, it would be a sense of humour because that can really help you make light of difficult times.”