At 91 years young, Barbara Price doesn’t let the grass grow under her feet. Up early, her packed program might tire lesser mortals but she loves life, especially meeting people, she tells Have a Go News.
Barbara clocks up 50 years in WA this year, after settling here from the UK in 1971 with husband Ray and two children. She has never regretted the big move but loves returning to her country of birth for big family reunions, Covid permitting.
Born in Cheshire on 25 June 1930 Barbara was the eldest of five, having a sister and three brothers including a set of twins. She lived in Nantwich in Cheshire until she was 17, then moved to Loughborough in Leicestershire where she worked as a nanny.
“I married Kenneth at 20 and we had two daughters, Cheryl (who lives in the UK) and Lesley-ann (Lee) but Kenneth passed away at 28 and I went to live with my sister,” she said. “Then I met my second husband, Ray, and we had two children, Nigel, currently in Canberra, and Victoria, who lives here.
“We decided to settle in WA, my husband working in the car trade. We spent eight months at Graylands Hostel before settling in Scarborough, later moving to Balga. Husband Ray passed away nine years ago.”
These days Barbara is up at dawn and active in the community. She is secretary of the Balga Autumn Club and has been a club member for 27 years. She is at the club three days a week, mainly doing administration work and teaching line dancing on a Friday. She plays bingo and is one of the callers.
With son Nigel playing soccer, Barbara was involved with the Balga Soccer Club as secretary and is a life member and still attends the club. She was intensely involved in WA’s bicentennial celebrations in 1988, helping organise the Balga Fair and street parades.
“I am a people person and you have to get out and about to exercise body and brain,” Barbara said.
She is an active member of the WA Carpet Bowls Association and was its secretary for 20 years, stepping down only this year. Apart from all these activities, she likes travel, reading and knitting and tending her garden, especially her roses.
And there is a little known fact about Barbara… she adores singer and entertainer Cliff Richard and is a long serving member of the Sir Cliff Richard Fan Club of Australia.
“I love all his music and have followed him ever since he started,” she said.
Though she has never met Sir Cliff, she saw him entertain when he came to Perth for Telethon in 1984. Her love for the entertainer is on show inside her home with Sir Cliff photos on the wall, tee shirts, a teapot and cups with his image and other memorabilia.
It’s a reflection of Barbara’s love of life and keeping young at heart.
She has 14 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren and plans to visit family back in the UK next year. “I keep in touch with them on Facebook and can see them growing up,” she says.