Community & Business

20 May, 2022

Billie turns a century young

FROM entering the world very quickly on the side of the highway in Cobba Corn, New South Wales, Sybil Richardson, or better known as Billie, has certainly had a wild and rewarding 100-year life.

By Ellie Fink

Tableland local, Billie Richardson recently celebrated her 100th birthday.
Tableland local, Billie Richardson recently celebrated her 100th birthday.

Turning 100 at Carinya Home for the Aged on 7 May, Billie reminisced about the times she had as a youngster, remembering all the great adventures she had camping and fishing with her family of four kids, six grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren. 

After marrying her late husband Jack Richardson, she made the big moved to Danbulla where the couple worked on a sawmill before the Tinaroo Dam was constructed. Billie and Jack soon watched as their sawmill went deep below the waters, forcing them to make the move to Kairi to start their life on the farm, where Billie graded peanuts in Atherton and Tolga for the Peanut Marketing Board. 

The cheeky, adventurous and fun loving 100-year-old loved to pass down her knowledge in fishing to the children, with no barramundi safe when she let down her hook and sinker. Grandson Alan remembers the times Billie would take their family fishing at Lakefield National Park and the fun they would have together.

 “She took great pride in showing us some of her tricks but not all of them. Billie had a secret fishing hole that to this day nobody knows where it is,” he said. “Over the years she has witnessed many of her grandkids and great grandkids catch their first barra and they loved listening to their ‘Mummar’s’ fishing stories. “One fishing trip a few years ago, there were four generations of the Richardson family together.” 

Billie’s pride and joy though was her 1974 Toyota Landcruiser, which she drove every day with no trouble until she was 94 years old. The old cruiser would rattle and shake due to its lack of power steering but that didn’t stop her from doing the regular trips for Lakefield to flick a line. 

“Billie use to pack up her old Toyota, boat on top and drive herself up to Lakefield,” Alan said. “She did this until she was in her late 80s and after that she would travel with her daughter Jan and son-in-law Mal and friends to various Lakefield fishing holes.” 

Now residing at Carinya Home for the Aged in Atherton, Billie has found herself in many incredible friendship groups and enjoys getting competitive during bingo. As well as cooking and crafts organised by the aged care home, Billie loves when Tony the Pony and other animals come along for a visit. 

With 100 years of experience behind her, Billie has the following advice for the younger generation: “Be kind to the elderly, take the time to have a chat to them. They may even teach you a thing or two.”


Most Popular