Beloved Northern Rivers woman hits 100 with flair
LORNA Allen knew she wanted to do something special for her 100th birthday, so to surprise her guests, she arrived by helicopter.
For the last 12 months Ms Allen's two daughters Lyndall Allen and Pam Waddell planned a party to celebrate their mum.
On Sunday, they welcomed 145 family, friends and work colleagues to lunch at Corndale Hall, in Corndale where they grew up, celebrating with cake, music, speeches and a toast.
Even Lismore's MP Kevin Hogan was there.
Ms Allen's youngest daughter Lyndall said her mum went hot air ballooning for her 99th birthday and wanted to go skydiving this year but decided it might be difficult.
"We had to come up with another idea," she said.
"Mum has always been a little bit of an adventurer."
Conveniently, Corndale hall has a landing strip out the back, so they hatched a plan for the next best thing, a helicopter ride.
Ms Allen said she felt 'marvellous' at age 100, 'I don't feel any older' and her secret to a healthy life is to 'Keep active'.
"I never thought I would experience that in my life," she said after the ride.
Ms Allen continues to volunteer weekly at Caroona nursing home 'working with the oldies' she said.
"I love people and working one-on-one."
Ms Waddell, Ms Allen's eldest child said her mother is their 'matriarch and mentor."
"Mum's been talking about this for 12 months."
Her work colleague Coral Irwin, who worked she worked with for many years at Caroona opp shop said she was 'a young chicken in her 90's'.
"We had a store room upstairs which had 19 stairs, she'd gather up all these clothes in her hands, and she would run up the stairs and yell out to me, 'Are you coming or not'," Ms Irwin said.
"I'd get up the stairs and be puffing and she would stir me up and say, 'Oh, these young ones'.
Ms Allen worked there until she was 95.
She has two daughter, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
She also loves sports and has played a lot of tennis throughout the years, often still staying up all night to watch Roger Federer, her idol, on TV.
Ms Allen's long guest lists invited family and friends from all over Australia and internationally too, ready to celebrate a century of life with the lady of the hour.