And on 13 April, the identical twins celebrated their 99th birthday with a joint celebration with family and friends at Strathdon Community in Forest Hill.
Since birth, the sisters have shared a special bond and lived almost parallel lives. They became married within a week of each other and lived in adjacent streets in Forest Hill since the 1970s, before moving into the Strathdon Community.
Both legally blind due to age-related macular degeneration, the sisters are avid radio fans and speak to each other every night. They often reminisce about past experiences and update each other on family news.
Mary’s son, Brian Mullarvey, said his mum and “Aunty Kit” are so alike that they have confused many people throughout their lives.
“The pair often confuses people in shopping centres and during their early days at Strathdon, even the staff and other residents would get them mixed up,” he said.
“Both Mum and Kit have extremely positive outlooks and, despite their disabilities, enjoy going out on day trips as much as they can.
“They’ve always had a healthy diet, eating plenty of fish, wild rabbits, local meat and home grown vegetables and fruits.
“They still have most of their own teeth and enjoy a good steak and plenty of seafood.”
Mary and Catherine have a combined total of four children, 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
The Strathdon Community held a special brunch to celebrate the pair’s remarkable milestone. Friends and families from interstate and overseas attended the unique event.