Monday marks a milestone for New Zealand’s economy – but it is also of special significance for one Mosgiel resident.

Fifty years ago on Monday, the country’s economy switched from pounds, shillings and pence to dollars and cents – and Mosgiel resident Judy “Jude” Mullen was born.

Mrs Mullen said sharing her birthday with “dollar day” was never significant except when big milestones rolled around.

However, Mrs Mullen – who is being treated for breast cancer – said she now treated “every day as a bonus”.

Her mother, Val Burridge (81) said she remembered the cold, snowy July day when her daughter was born – especially as the baby’s brother Craig and sister Ann were more interested in checking out the new currency their father had brought in.

“They couldn’t have cared less about having a sister,” Mrs Burridge laughed.
The Star spoke to Mrs Mullen 10 years ago, when she celebrated her 40th birthday, and said the major change she had noticed during that time was Mosgiel’s development.

“Mosgiel has exploded within that 10 years.”

While the town had added several subdivisions and another supermarket, mother and daughter were still both living in the same Kinmont street.

Mrs Mullen attributed her ability to fight several health issues to the strength her brother Craig – nine years her senior – had instilled in her, putting a hockey stick in her hand at the age of four.

The resulting love of sport stayed with her all her life, and she had played in regional representative teams for just under 40 years, as well as working in a clerical role at Dunedin Hospital’s outpatients unit for 27 years.

Mrs Burridge said while there had been plenty of promotion ahead of the “Dollar Day” currency changeover, “it didn’t go as well as they said it would on the radio”.

But after 50 years of the decimal system, the long-time Mosgiel pair are well used to it.

Mrs Mullen said her mother’s ability to always live life well and have a sense of humour always inspired her.

“Live life to the full.”