Four children, 14 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild - the numbers roll off Joyce Martin's tongue, the tally of 100 years well lived.
Joyce admits she's a bit perplexed by all the attention she has received on her 100th birthday. She prefers to be in the background, nurturing her family, which she has done from a young age.
Joyce left school at age 13, as dux of her school, and went to work on her family's farm and help her mother raise her siblings. That was the 1930s, the time of the Great Depression and farm life was hard work.
As an aside, she is the oldest surviving student of Wingham Central School.
Joyce, nee Yarnold, was born at Killabakh. It was at a dance at Cedar Party Hall (which no longer exists) that she met her husband-to-be Warwick 'Wok' Martin.
Joyce and Warwick were married at the Anglican Church at Killabakh on September 9, 1939, but the day was not without its dramas. A bushfire was bearing down on the family home and the bridegroom had to help fight the fire before getting dressed for the wedding.
They lived at Burrell Creek and had four children - Richard Warwick, named after Joyce's mother's family (Richardson); Gordon John, Joyce's "war baby"; Mary and Bill (William). At the suggestion of her father-in-law, Gordon is named after Major General Gordon Bennett who escaped the Fall of Singapore in World War II with a few of his officers, by commandeering a small boat, and made their way back to Australia.
Warwick died 27 years ago. Mary nursed her husband Sergio Pilotto through a long illness and when he died, 10 years ago, Joyce moved in with her daughter to be well looked after. Joyce fell ill with influenza last year and Mary was on hand to nurse her through it, by feeding her well and seeing she spent plenty of time in the sun.
And from her seat in the sun Joyce loves to watch the dew on the grass in the mornings and the shadows cast by the she-oaks in the back yard. She also takes pride in her lime tree which has endured three relocations since it was planted at her Wingham home and is still bearing fruit.
May 25, 2020 marked Joyce's 100th birthday. The day before, as a tribute and with COVID-19 restrictions in place, the family arranged a drive-by with a hundred plus family and friends taking part.
On the actual day of her birthday, Monday, Joyce learned why she hadn't been required to collect the mail from her roadside mailbox. In front of her daughter and sons Richard and Gordon and their wives - Bill had to leave to go to work - Joyce opened many envelopes including congratulations from the Queen, the Prime Minister, and many other dignitaries as well as family and friends.
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