Monday, January 5, 2015

Bikira mwenye miaka 99 anatafuta 'Mr Right'

Despite several marriage proposals throughout her lifetime Maria Caterina Reitano - who turns 100 in January - is extremely proud of the fact she has never made love to a man.

Known to all as Aunty Cathy, Ms Reitano lives at Lady of Grace nursing home.

"When I was younger I thought I may have been missing out but then a few men came along when I was older and I said no. If I wanted to get married I would have in the flower of my youth," she said.

Ms Reitano came close to marrying her first love Giovanni in her late teens but when she turned up at the church in her best dress he didn't like it so she sent him packing.

A few years later her second love, Benedict, proposed but as the eldest child her father and step-mother would not allow her to marry him because they wanted to keep her at home to make bread, cook, clean, care for the animals and look after her seven siblings.

Benedict went on to marry another woman but, after his wife died, he proposed to Ms Reitano again just before she migrated to Australia from Reggio Calabria in Italy when she was 41. 

She said no because she didn't want to be compared to his first wife. Benedict also moved to Australia and also settled in Dural with his new family.

As well as working with her family in market gardens in North Manly and Oxford Falls, Ms Reitano helped care for her nieces and nephews.

Being raised a Roman Catholic meant that she would never give up her virginity outside of marriage and she believes she will go straight to heaven as a result.

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