Lakes Entrance’s Amy Williams (nee Pilling) celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by family and friends.
Last Saturday guests came from all around Australia including South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania to mark the special occasion.
Cards from Queen Elizabeth II, Governor General David Hurley and Prime Minister Scott Morrison together with letters from other dignitaries really added to Amy’s celebrations.
She is the only surviving member of the Pilling family from her generation with her brother-in-law, Graeme, the only surviving member of the Williams family from his generation, joining the occasion.
Amy was born on October 26, 1919, in Yorkshire, England, and then moved to Rochdale as a baby with her family.
She then came to Australia during World War II in 1940, with her best friend, Mary, and workers from her hometown. This was on a three-year contract to train the girls in the Bradfield Cotton Mills in Footscray.
Amy’s trip to Australia was a memorable one as she came out on the last passenger ship during the war because of the high rate of accidents from mines.
Just before the end of her contract Ralph, whom she had met through her friend, Mary, asked Amy to marry him and stay in Australia. He stated “he would show her the whole of Australia”. She did want to go back home to see her family, but knew if she did that she would never return to Australia.
The two became engaged in August 1942 and married in a little church in Chelsea, Melbourne, in March 1944. They honeymooned in Yarrawonga before settling in East Melbourne.
Later they moved around Victoria to many places including Beechworth and Browns Plains, near Rutherglen, before finally settling in Lakes Entrance with their three children in 1952.
Ralph, with his brother’s help, built their home and established RK Williams Hardware in Stock Street. Two years later another daughter was born.
Amy now resides at Lakeview Nursing Home in Lakes Entrance.
Amy is mother and mother-in-law to Bruce, Joy, Ray, Jody, Janice, Don, Gail and Alan, grandmother to Vanessa, Catherine, Amanda, Joanne, Nadene, Meagan, Alison, Kerry and Mandy and great-grandmother to Shae, Amanda, Olivia, Jack, Axel, Will, Aiden, Dominic, Amy, Scarlett, Matilda, Marlie and Dylan.
PICTURED: Amy Williams (centre) celebrated her 100th birthday with her sons and daughters, Janice, Bruce, Ray and Gail, and many other guests last Saturday.