News

Muriel’s mission of love and light

CATCHING UP: Muriel Bowen at her 100th birthday celebrations with Nellie O’Chin, one of the children Mrs Bowen helped when she was a missionary.
CATCHING UP: Muriel Bowen at her 100th birthday celebrations with Nellie O’Chin, one of the children Mrs Bowen helped when she was a missionary. Marnie Johnston

ON MEETING Muriel Bowen, you would be forgiven for thinking she was a woman in her 80s, but in fact, on Saturday, her 100th birthday was celebrated.

More than 130 people congregated at the Alstonville Anglican Church to celebrate the centenary of Alstonville woman Mrs Bowen.

The mother of four, grandmother of seven, and great-grandmother of 13 has lived a life of selfless work, her family said.

At 21, Mrs Bowen went off and became a missionary, doing tireless, selfless work with indigenous people for 45 years all along the East Coast of Australia.

A whole table was full of indigenous people from Fingal Head who Mrs Bowen had helped when they were just children - now at her birthday party to thank her for the love and light they gave her.

A writer for the Australian Indigenous Ministries newsletter had even come from Darwin for the celebration, to tell the story of Mrs Bowen, a woman who was so involved with their mission.

After decades of missionary work ended in 1977, she and her husband Kenneth moved to Alstonville, where she lives to this day, involved with her church, Ballina Baptist Church.

Still in very good health, Mrs Bowen still lives on her own and still drives - a rarity for someone of her age.

Her 100th birthday had brought friends and relatives from all over the country and all over the world to Alstonville, leaving her speechless and a tad emotional, but she said turning 100 didn't really feel any different to any other day in her life.

"It's just the same," she laughed.

Daughter Elisabeth Dawson, from the Central Coast, said her mother was unlike anyone else.

"She has a very strong personality," Mrs Dawson said.

"She has a very strong faith in God - she trusts God to take care of all situations."

When patriarch Kenneth passed away in 1988, Mrs Bowen was the rock for the whole family, Mrs Dawson said.

"We were all falling apart - but who looked after everyone? My mother," she said.

Topics:  100th birthday




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Lismore rockfest Mazstock will explode hearts

Maz Scofield the North Coast Queen of Rock annd roll and contact for the third  MAZSTOCK 2011 event on the Italo Australian Club. picture Jacklyn Wagner

Rockers converge on Lismore in June

Don’t be a statistic in dangerous surf conditions

Surf Life Savers are warning swimmers, surfers and boaties to be aware of dangerous surf conditions this weekend. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Surf Life Savers are warning of big surf

Mears leaves a large literary legacy in her local area

REMEMBERED IN PRINT: Author Gillian Mears, at her home with one of her cats, publicising her book The Cat With the Coloured Tail. She died last week.

“She writes like an angel.” Review of Gillian Mears

Latest deals and offers

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 4

In this video the woman asks for water as the tap in the room is broken

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 3

In this video police continue their search and male officers are present despite...

Coastal development keeps young people on Northern Rivers

Wes Bale is a 27-year-old born and bred Lennox Head local who is an example of the demographic shift in the region.

Young Northern Rivers residents are looking closer to home

We’ve found 8 rentals available on the Northern Rivers

2/22 Sunnybank Drive, Ballina

It's obvious there is a rental shortage on the Northern Rivers