From the Newsroom

100 reasons to smile for Lydia

Surrounded by her wonderful friends from the Yamba Day VIEW Club, Clarence Valley resident Lydia Duckworth enjoyed an early celebration ahead of her 100th birthday at the Yamba Bowling and Recreation Club last week.

Born on May 17, 1922, Lydia grew up with five brothers and a sister.

She recalls being spoiled as a child, attending dance lessons and always loved performing with her family, who describe her as having a beautiful voice.

She enjoyed school where her favourite subject was literature but left at Year 8 to begin an apprenticeship with a milliner.

During WWII, she worked at an ammunition factory in Maribyrnong, Victoria.   

In her early 20’s, she married Tom with whom she had three children.

Tom owned a successful engineering business.

Following his retirement, the couple relocated to Surfers Paradise, Queensland.

While Tom played golf and went deep-sea fishing, the couple enjoyed taking day trips to South Stradbroke Island with their friends on their boat.

Lydia also enjoys a busy social life.

Lydia Duckworth proudly cuts her birthday cake. Image: Emma Pritchard

The couple travelled extensively, enjoying European touring and shorter trips to Hong Kong and Singapore.

In the 1970’s, Tom bought a Grand Banks 32-foot cruiser from Halvorsen and motored it up, with some help, to Surfers Paradise where he and Lydia were living on the Isle of Capri.

When a storm occurred during the voyage, the crew had to take shelter in Yamba.

Tom thought it was a beautiful place to live and subsequently bought a property.

Sadly, Tom was diagnosed with cancer and left Lydia a widow to continue her life in Yamba alone.

Lydia enjoyed golf initially, then joined the Yamba Bowling Club where she later became a selector. 

She first joined the Yamba Day VIEW Club in 1995 where she has shared many enjoyable events. 

She has made many friends in Yamba and is well known and loved among the local community.

Lydia told the Clarence Valley Independent the key to living a long and happy life is to always smile and keep laughing.

Editorial kindly contributed by Lydia’s loving family.