Wilhelmina celebrates her 110th birthday in style

Wilhelmina Elizabeth Overall has seen a lot of historic milestones throughout her life: the invention of cars, sliced bread, post it notes, the aerosol can, television and, more recently, the dawn of the Internet.

And on 6 October, the keen horse rider and dancer, experienced another important day: her 110th birthday at Bupa Aged Care in Pottsville Beach.

Surrounded by four generations of family, Wilhelmina celebrated her special day with plenty of flowers and gifts, including a special letter from Mayor Katie Milne at the Tweed Shire Council.

“Mum is an inspiration to all of us. She had a happy childhood with loving and caring parents and that is something that I experienced and have also provided for my children and grandchildren,” Wilhelmina’s daughter, Jan Denzel, said.

“Visiting mum reminds us of our roots and you can physically see where our family has come from. It’s kind of a unique family situation and something we’re extremely proud of,” she said.

Wilhelmina was born in Coopers Shoot on the 6 October, 1908, and moved as a child to Tyagarah, followed by a Knockrow dairy farm and then to Bondi Beach as a newlywed after marrying the love of her life Percy Overall.


I love the story of how my parents met. My grandfather Jack Hill bought a car and took driving lessons from my dad, who met my mum and fell in love with her. The rest is history.
Wilhelmina’s daughter, Jan Denzel.

When she learned that her husband had enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II, she took her children to Bangalow to live with her parents.

Jan credits her mum’s longevity to a firm but fair upbringing, a healthy diet and stress free lifestyle. This was reaffirmed by a recent study in the Cambridge Press International Psychogeriatrics that found people who lived past 100 years of age tended to have common psychological traits including but not limited to resilience.

“Mum grew up on a farm and would usually pluck the feathers from chickens for dinner and you have to remember that there were no buses or cars to take you to school back then,” she said.

“Mum never smoked but enjoyed an occasional beer, her favourite being Tooheys Old. She was a keen bowler and played at the Condong, Cabarita and Pottsville Bowls Clubs for many years. Believe it or not but she played her last game of bowls at the age of 93,” Jan said.

The 110-year-old matriarch was described as “the centre of the family” who helped impart important lessons on her three children Jan, John and Toni alongside her four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

“She’s one strong lady who has had a positive impact on many lives. For some years she supported dad in the running of the General Store and Post Office at Stokers Siding in NSW,” Jan said.

When Jan was asked about how her mother liked the party, her answer was simple.

“Even though dad is no longer around and mum isn’t in the best physical state, you could tell that she really enjoyed having everyone there,” she said.


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