Life-long fundraiser (100) reaches magic milestone

An active Mansfield woman who devoted her life to raising funds and helping others celebrated after turning 100.

Olive Waller MBE, of Robin Down Close, Mansfield, received her telegram from the Queen for the remarkable feat, and marked the occasion with a low-key gathering of family and friends.

Olive said: “I did not want to make a fuss about it, I just had a few friends and relations visit and we had a very happy day.

“I said I did not want presents, but some gave me money which I sent to Cancer Research UK.”

And it was this kind of generosity that typifies Olive’s life, who was born, raised and has lived almost all of her life in Mansfield.

She met her husband-to-be, Stanley, at Mansfield Operatic Society, and they were married in 1948. But it was her desire to help that defines Olive’s life, who got involved raising money for Cancer Research UK after admitting her cancer affected both sides of her family.

She has since been given an honorary fellowship for her outstanding contribution and more than 35 years of dedication to the cause.

It was this work that eventually got her an MBE, although she admits: “That came out of the blue, but I treasure my honorary fellowship as much as I do the MBE!”

She retired from fundraising a decade ago, and admits that she can’t get around like she used to.

Stanley passed away in 2001, and she is now helped by her family, daughter Patricia, son-in-law Neil, grandchildren Heather and Rob and a neighbour.

Olive said: “Without their help I couldn’t manage, what ever I want they will help me with.”

Asked about the secret to a long life, she laughed: “I do not have a clue! Nobody else in my family has reached this age, the closest I’ve got is a cousin who got to 95!”