TAMWORTH woman Phyl Bylund turned 100 years old yesterday – and her family and friends made sure she celebrated in style.
About 100 people gathered in Hallsville Uniting Church to share a lunch, their reminiscences and their best wishes with Miss Bylund.
And of course, you’re never too old for a birthday cake.
Miss Bylund had been told she’d be treated to a lunch, but the extent of it was a bit of a surprise.
She and her visiting sister, Gwen – who shares the birthday but is merely a spring chicken at 89 – were collected from her home in a stretch limousine.
On arrival, Tamworth regional mayor Col Murray escorted her inside, where the dozens of guests clapped her through the crowd, then sang her Happy Birthday, all accompanied by a lone piper.
Several family members had travelled from as far away as the Gold Coast or around Newcastle and Nelson Bay. Nephew Malcolm, the son of Miss Bylund’s sister Pam, came from Kempsey.
Asked if longevity was a family trait, he said: “In the Bylund family, it sure is.”
“One sister died when she was 93, which is still a fair age, and there are two brothers [who are elderly]: Keith, who’s in his early 80s, and Neville, who is 90,” he said.
Cr Murray read congratulatory letters from the Queen and the Australian Prime Minister, among others.
A display wall showed images from Miss Bylund’s life – as well as clippings from her several appearances in The Leader over the years.
Miss Bylund has previously told The Leader her number-one tip for a long and healthy life was to drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep and not smoke.
However, her life’s investment in career, volunteering and travel could also provide some clues.
She made her mark with the Postmaster General’s Department as a telephonist then later, in this region, as a supervisor, trainer and inspector.
She has also travelled the world and raised many thousands of dollars for local charities.
Miss Bylund never married and still lives on her own, and her independence is perhaps best summed up in her own words.
As Moore Creek Classic Car Hire owner Lyn Hession helped Miss Bylund from her limo, she wished her a wonderful day and said she looked good at 100.
Miss Bylund replied, “Thank you, but I don’t feel any different than I ever did.”