Centenarian Doris Hall was surrounded by family as she celebrated her birthday milestone on Saturday.
Still sharp as a tack, and relatively mobile, Mrs Hall enjoyed the family gathering at her son Len Hall’s property where she opened her congratulatory messages ranging from Buckingham Palace, from Queen Elizabeth II, to federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton.
On Friday, Whiddon Robert Young held a celebration for Mrs Hall’s 100th birthday with the facility’s residents.
Mrs Hall was born on September 26, 1920 at Chinnock Private Hospital in Gilgandra, the daughter of Sidney and Elsie Waters who had their home on a property called ‘Yarrandale’.
At her birthday celebration on Saturday, she said she owed her longevity to horse riding.
Mrs Hall recalled riding 16 miles a day to go to school.
When she was eight-years-old, her father Sidney drew a soliders’ settlers block at Naradhan which the family called ‘Woodlands’.
Mrs Hall remembered travelling three weeks for the move.
“Mum and my sister Hilda rode in the horse and sulky,” she said.
“My brother Barney and I rode our horses. Dad and my Uncle Jack rode their teams and wagons.”
At night, she said the girls slept in a tent while the boys slept with the wagons.
“We had a big round block or ‘wheel’ of cheese that lasted the whole trip and Uncle Jack’s roosters would crow madly when we went through the towns. We laughed and laughed,” she said.
Mrs Hall’s family traces their beginning in north-west NSW to the 1890s.
Her grandfather, Barnham Waters, arrived in Australia at Port Jackson in September 1863 onboard the ship ‘Shackmaxon’. He moved on to Fish River in the Oberon region where he would meet his wife to be, Emma Wicks, and they were married on February 10, 1871.
Barnham, Emma and their family moved to the Narrabri region in the 1890s and lived at Baan Baa. The couple had 10 children. Barnham, Emma and three of their sons are buried at Narrabri.
Barnham was killed at Baan Baa in 1893 after a tree fell on him.
Emma stayed in the area until her death at the age of 104 in 1944.
Also gaining a block in the south-east area of Naradhan, near the Waters family, were Dan and Jack Hall.
Doris married Dan on March 22, 1938 at Lake Cargelligo.
Due to the drought, rabbits and the Depression, Mr Hall and his brother sold their property and along with their family moved to Warialda.
Mrs Hall and her husband had their first child, a son named Sidney, who was born in Moree.
After moving to Narrabri, they had three more children – Edith ‘Sister’, Leonard and Doreen.
In 1956, the family moved out to Werah Creek, Cuttabri, and would later move back to Narrabri in 1963.
Mr Hall passed away in 1987 at Forbes, while he and Mrs Hall were on holidays with lifelong friends Rita and Tom Norton.
Mrs Hall and her husband had enjoyed travelling extensively around Australia with their trusty caravan and friends.
Now, at 100-years-old, she boasts an enormous family.
From her four children, she has 17 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren as well as one expected soon and 29 great-great-grandchildren in
addition to another one on the way.
She has outlived her eldest son, Sidney, three granddaughters, one grandson and one great-grandson.To order photos from this page click here