Kath Freeman has been confused for an athlete on more than one occasion.
Kath Freeman has been confused for an athlete on more than one occasion. Ebony Graveur

Mrs Freeman's long-running joke

DON'T ask her for an autograph; the only running Kath Freeman has been doing lately is running away from a case of mistaken identity.

The 94-year-old said the joke had been "running” for a while, peaking when the athlete with whom she shared a name won a particularly noteworthy race.

Mrs Freeman said her neighbours cashed in on the joke, racing to their phones when they "spotted her through the window”.

"They rang me on the phone and said 'congratulations on your win',” Mrs Freeman said.

"I couldn't run as fast as (athlete Kathy Freeman) could take a step.”

Born in NSW in 1925, Mrs Freeman is now a resident of a cosy garden-view room unit in Laidley's Tabeel Aged Care facility.

She said her favourite memories were of her time running businesses in Gatton alongside her husband of 60 years, Hector.

When she met her husband to-be, the pair fell in love and relocated to Rosewood before finally settling in Gatton for the 65 years that followed.

The couple poured their lives into business, owning as many as four butcher shops at one point before selling the Helidon store to focus on the three in Gatton.

One of her brothers was a butcher and her two sons went on to become butchers, ensuring there was always plenty of meat in Mrs Freeman's diet.

Eventually, it was time to slow down and, upon taking a well-earned retirement, the pair set off for unfamiliar shores.

"We had two months in England and then took a trip to America,” she said.

In spite of enjoying her time on the road, Mrs Freeman said she had not intended to travel again.

"I wouldn't want to travel these days; there seems to be so much bickering and fighting,” she said.

After they returned from travelling, Hector's health took a turn for the worse.

While the pair married 72 years ago, the couple made it to their diamond anniversary before Hector passed away in mid-2007.

Her apartment is full of photos of the two of them over the years as well as pictures of the many members of her extended family.

Among her three children, there are eleven grandchildren and more great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren than Mrs Freeman can count.

"Don't ask me how many great-grandchildren I've got, please,” she said.


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