Bill Stafford, 86, of Banora Point thought a letter that arrived from the Governor General’s office congratulating him on his 100th birthday was an April Fools’ joke.
Bill Stafford, 86, of Banora Point thought a letter that arrived from the Governor General’s office congratulating him on his 100th birthday was an April Fools’ joke.

Letter arrives 14 years early

BILL Stafford is the youngest 100-year-old in the district.

A mix up in anniversary messages from the Governor-General’s office saw the 86-year-old receive royal well-wishes for his ‘100th birthday’ instead of congratulations for his actual 60th wedding anniversary coming up this week.

The Banora Point resident received signed letters and photos of congratulations on a century of life from the Queen and the Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce late last week.

“I had a good laugh about it, I seriously thought someone was joking around with me, but the documents looked too official to be a joke,” Mr Stafford said.

He originally thought someone was pulling his leg, especially considering the fact the signed letters and photos arrived in the mail on April Fools’ Day.

“I couldn’t get down town fast enough to show all my mates. It was hilarious,” he said.

Mr Stafford and his wife, Gwen, are due to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on April 12.

The Staffords had approached Richmond MP Justine Elliot’s office to apply for the wedding anniversary message six months ago.

The Queen sends messages to couples celebrating 60 years of marriage and writes every five years after on request.

She also writes to those celebrating their 100th birthdays.

“I’m going to frame it now. I’m proud to say I got my 100th birthday recognition 14 years early,” Mr Stafford joked.

“It was the last thing I expected on the day. It sounds like it was a departmental blunder that caused it.”

A spokeswoman from Ms Elliot’s office said the mix-up was with the Governor-General’s office.

“We put the correct forms through to the Governor General’s office,” the spokeswoman said.

“It will be rectified from their side of things. We’ve also issued a correct congratulatory letter from Ms Elliot.”

Mr and Mrs Stafford will be issued the correct anniversary message.



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