AN INTERESTING LIFE: Mavis Berryman, a resident at the Alstonville Adventist Village, has passed away a month after celebrating her 105th birthday.
AN INTERESTING LIFE: Mavis Berryman, a resident at the Alstonville Adventist Village, has passed away a month after celebrating her 105th birthday. Graham Broadhead

Alstonville farewells 105-year-old Mavis

BORN in 1912, Alstonville resident Mavis Isabella Berryman was a product of a bygone era.

It was the era of the horse and buggy, Al Johnson was on the top 10 with That Haunting Melody and Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster was the fourth most popular book in print.

After 105 years, which saw her live through two World Wars, the great depression and decades of tumultuous social change, Mrs Berryman passed away on October 17 at Seventh Day Aventist Age Care, Alstonville.

Raised in Uralla and living the majority of her life with her husband Eric in Armidale, Mrs Berryman moved to the Northern Rivers in 1989 after his death in order to be closer to family.

In an interview to celebrate her 105th birthday this year, Mrs Berryman said living a healthy and happy life was the key to her longevity.

"I don't don't drink, I don't smoke and I don't go out with bad men," she said when asked about her secret to a long life.

Mrs Berryman loved to cook, worked in the Armidale hospital's library, played bowls and she travelled with her husband to England by ship in the 1960s.

A renowned cook, when her late husband, Eric, was a station manager based in Armidale, Mrs Berryman would accompany him to stations to cater for the shearing crews.

"And they were a hungry lot," she said.

She said she has had "an interesting life".

A few months before her birth in September 1912, Fanny Durack wins a gold medal for swimming in the 100 metres at the Olympics in Stockholm.

Then a month later the first Australian maternity allowance was introduced, with women who had given birth received £5 to cover the cost of medical care for themselves and their babies.

She agreed the world has changed a lot over her lifetime, but Mrs Berryman said she was happy to live for today rather than pine for years gone by.

Mavis has three children, seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild is due to be born in December.

Her funeral is today, at The Richmond Chapel, Parkview Funeral Home, 43 Holland St, Goonellabah at 12.30pm.



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