LOVING LIFE: Darryl Branthwaite got the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to Lorraine De Roode at the GECC for Andrew Strong – The Commitments show on Wednesday night.
LOVING LIFE: Darryl Branthwaite got the crowd to sing Happy Birthday to Lorraine De Roode at the GECC for Andrew Strong – The Commitments show on Wednesday night. Mike Richards

Gran celebrates 74th birthday in mosh pit

LORRAINE De Roode celebrated her 74th birthday in a mosh pit at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre with 350 other people.

Ms De Roode was delighted when her good friend Darryl Branthwaite got the crowd at Andrew Strong - The Commitments show to sing happy birthday to her.

Although it was her actual birthday on Tuesday, Ms De Roode said the night was one she would remember forever.

"I was the oldest mosher I can tell you," she laughed.

"Darryl faced the audience and said 'It's my grandma's birthday!' and the whole lot sang happy birthday.

"It was great."

Andrew Strong's version of Mustang Sally was a highlight of the mother of five's night.

"It's going to be played at my funeral," she laughed.

"It's pretty high up on my list, much to my children's disgust."

For her birthday Ms De Roode had lunch with some of her children and friends.

"I was pretty well behaved this year," she said. "Next year could be different for the big 75."

She said she got the "usual" presents for her birthday, including hand lotions and a bottle of wine.

Ms De Roode has been in Gladstone for 50 years. She's had an interesting life so far.

She worked for 13 years at the Benaraby Caltex as a cook. She then drove buses, taking people to work at Rio Tinto.

Nowadays, volunteering takes up most of Ms De Roode's time.

She is a wildlife carer and is taking up a role at Mission to Seafarers as a bus driver.

"I like the road and I am really looking forward to it," she said.

"I also volunteer with the Red Hat Ladies, too. I am involved in a few things and it keeps me off the streets."

Ms De Roode still rides her Honda 80 motorbike, too.

She's been a motorbike rider since she was 18 and said you were never too old for it.

"Myself and two others ride our bikes on Sundays."



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