Coffs Harbour resident Joan Winifred Walker to celebrate 100th birthday

Joan Winifred Walker.

 

LONG time Coffs Harbour resident Joan Winifred Walker will celebrate her 100th birthday on April 19.

Born in Armidale in 1921, Joan spent her primary school years in Batlow.

Her father worked for NSW Railways and Joan arrived in the Coffs area in 1934, at the age of 14, when her father took up the position of Station Master at Glenreagh.

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Joan has fond memories of catching the steam trains from Glenreagh to Grafton each week for piano lessons and travelling home in the guard’s van of the goods train.

Her father became Station Master at Coffs Harbour in 1936 and the family moved to the Jetty, living in the Station Master’s house.

Joan remembers there being just one house between the two settlements at the Jetty and ‘Top Town’ at that time.

The steam trains would stop at Coffs to take on water and passengers would alight to ‘take refreshments’, with Joan often helping to serve in the refreshment rooms.

After leaving school, Joan worked at Blowes Department Store and met her future husband Harold ‘Bill’ Walker at a surf club dance in the late 1930s.

They married after Bill returned from WWII service and settled on Bill’s parent’s farm, in the area known as ‘Orange Trees’ on Coramba Rd.

Joan and Bill spent many years growing tomatoes, peas and beans on the farm and had three children, Peter, Julie and Tom.

The family spent much of their leisure time at Park Beach.

Bill was a keen competitor at Surf Carnivals in his younger days and was made a lifetime member of the club.
Joan sadly lost Bill to cancer in her late sixties.

She has filled the past thirty years with family, friends, travel and participating in community groups.

She still enjoys pottering in her garden and regular coffee mornings.

Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will gather with other family and friends this weekend to celebrate Joan’s centenary.

 

By Roz EVERSON

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