Margaret Byrnes, of Goonellabah, gets a hug from her daughter, Gwenda Byrnes, after winning a holiday in the Nextra Mothers’ Day competition. Lismore newsagent Royce Jenkins looks on.
Margaret Byrnes, of Goonellabah, gets a hug from her daughter, Gwenda Byrnes, after winning a holiday in the Nextra Mothers’ Day competition. Lismore newsagent Royce Jenkins looks on. Cathy Adams

Competition win surprises mother

MARGARET BYRNES had never won anything in all her 90 years.

So when she took the honours in a Mothers Day competition organised by the Nextra news agency group, it was the result of a lifetime.

The Goonellabah octogenarian, who turns 90 next February, could not believe it when Nextra head office rang to tell her of the win. Thinking she was the victim of a hoax call or a sales pitch, Margaret told the Nextra official to “go away” and never call back.

That’s because it was her daughter, Gwenda, who filled out the forms and made the entry at the Nextra Lismore Central store, hoping to give her mum a big surprise.

Which is what it turned out to be – seven nights accommodation at the upmarket Sheraton Mirage Resort on the Gold Coast worth $5000 and a generous lump of spending money.

Mother and daughter even managed to increase that. Offered a limousine ride to the hotel, they declined, opting for the $500 spending money instead, taking their indulgence kitty to $1500.

The Mirage has four restaurants and Margaret hinted that is where much of the spending money will go.

“I’m not a big eater but I enjoy every type of food,” she said yesterday.

“Especially curried prawns,” said Gwenda.

Her eyesight is failing, so much of the rest of her time will be spent “just sitting” in the luxurious surroundings, with the occasional foot massage.

“I’ve worked hard all my life,” she said.



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