Betty Newman celebrated her 100th birthday in style with family and friends, and a message from King Charles.

Betty Newman, with daughters Joy and Judith, was thrilled to celebrate her 100th birthday among family and friends. Photo: Mick Birtles.

BETTY Newman celebrated her 100th birthday in grand style on 25 February with generations of family and a host of friends and neighbours.

Betty had made it clear to her daughters Joy and Judith and son Keith that she intended to have a party, and she was thrilled to be the centre of attention at the function organised at the Nambucca Heads RSL Club.

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“I have a wonderful family with lovely children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Betty confided as she watched them all enjoying themselves.

A trivia quiz raised plenty of laughs and gave guests a chance to show how well they know Betty – not many knew her waist measured 16 inches when she was in her 20s, or that her first job was as an apprentice milliner, though almost everyone knew her favourite colour is blue.

Betty was born in Sydney at Marrickville and grew up in the southern suburbs.

After leaving school, she worked in various occupations including millinery, in babywear shops and chocolate packing – and everyone who knows her agrees that Betty still can’t get enough chocolate.

In wartime, Betty also made soldiers’ uniforms to support the war effort.

During this time Betty also enjoyed an active social life playing tennis, going to movies and dances with friends, and she always enjoyed playing piano.

Shortly after the war ended, Betty met Henry, a returned soldier who hailed from Bowraville.

They married and in 1947 bought a dairy farm on North Arm Road, Bowraville, where they dairied for 28 years, during which time they raised their family of three children – Keith, Joy and Judith.

“Betty found it was a very different lifestyle to that she was accustomed to, however she fully embraced country living,” says her daughter Joy, adding that all three children went to Bowraville School.

Betty and Henry later semi-retired to Nambucca Heads, which she absolutely loved.

Here she enjoyed making new friends, learning painting, boating with Henry and travelling.

“When she was at home she was always singing and playing the piano,” says Joy.

After Henry passed in 2018, Betty remained in her home until late last year, when she moved into aged care in Coffs Harbour where she is still enjoying making new friends.

Part of the joy of turning 100 has always been receiving a letter from the reigning monarch and Betty was thrilled to receive a birthday greeting from His Majesty King Charles.

Messages were also received from the Prime Minister, the Governor General and the Member for Coffs Harbour among a number of esteemed people.

Congratulations on reaching this milestone birthday, Betty – you can look back on a century of ups and downs and wonderful memories made along the way.


Betty’s three children Joy, Judith and Keith couldn’t be prouder of their Mother, who they described as a wonderful mum and remarkable woman. Photo: Mick Birtles.

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