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




Lismore, you've aged gracefully

Mayor Jenny Dowell shares Lismore's 70th birthday cake with the public.

Lismore celebrates 70th birthday

Lismore mayoral candidates scored by anti-fluoride group

Fluoride has been a divisive issue in the community.

Will a new Lismore council mean a change of heart on fluoride?

7 most expensive (and cutest) puppies on the Northern Rivers

Border collie puppies for sale in the Rosebank area.

How much would you be willing to pay for a gorgeous pooch?

Latest deals and offers

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Falls tickets go on sale

Cold War Kids wow audiences at Falls Festival in Byron Bay despite the soaring tempratures and humidity. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

General sale starts at 9am

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m