First Fleet ancestor Olive Wade celebrates 100th birthday

Olive with her daughter Jean, son Neil and the cake.


HISTORY in the making as Olive Wade celebrates her 100th birthday on June 5, 2021 in Coffs Harbour.

The great, great, grandmother has an abundance of living relatives and remarkable ancestry.

Olive is related to Ann Forbes, who as a sixteen-year-old landed in Australia on the first fleet in 1788.

“Mum is a full member of the Fellowship of First Fleeters,” Jean Innes, Olive’s daughter, told News Of The Area.

Forty-five family members joined Olive on her birthday including five great great grandchildren and “God knows how many great grandchildren,” said Jean.

Born Olive Ellen into her family’s farm at Kyogle, “they all had their jobs to do”.

This period brings with it many memories.

“When her sister May teased her youngest sister, Dulcie, about not dusting properly in the corners, Dulcie would say, ‘I’ll have a round house, so I don’t have to dust the corners’…a family saying that has stuck to this day,” laughed Jean.

When World War Two broke out, Olive told her dad she would join the Nursing Corps or get married, well the latter was the case and she “followed Dad (Franklyn) around the country”.

The passing of Olive’s mother after the War saw the growing family move back to the farm in Kyogle.

“My granddad went off to live in Byron – a very different place in the 1950s to what it is today, there was the whaling station and the abattoir,” said Jean.

In 1972, in the process of selling the farm, Olive’s husband passed.

“Mum moved to Woolgoolga where her eldest son, Bob lived – he built her a house.

“She lived in that house independently until she was 98.

“She had a beautiful garden but after a fall and her eye-sight failing she moved into the nursing home where she is today.

“Mum drove a tractor as soon as her legs were long enough to reach the clutch; she cooked good home-grown food, and always made beautiful crochet coat hangers.

“I always said, ‘treasure them because the day will come when she can’t do any more’.”




Leave a Reply