Phyllis Comrie of Bowen turned 104 on April 27. She puts her health in old age down to keeping active, a good family and a small glass of white wine every afternoon.
Phyllis Comrie of Bowen turned 104 on April 27. She puts her health in old age down to keeping active, a good family and a small glass of white wine every afternoon. Jordan Gilliland

Croquet and wine secret to long life

It's not every day that you celebrate your birthday, and for one Bowen resident this one was a little bit special.

Phyllis Comrie, turned the impressive age of 104 at the weekend.

Mrs Comrie, who resides in Bowen with her daughter, said that she was happy to be celebrating this birthday surrounded by so many family and friends.

"I never expected to make it this far," Mrs Comrie said.

"I've received flowers and cards from as far as Melbourne and even New Zealand."

Mrs Comrie's daughter, Eunice Lynch, said her mother may hold the impressive achievement of being the oldest person in Bowen.

"We've done some research, and talked to some people about it and we think that she might be the oldest," Mrs Lynch said.

"I don't want to say it for sure, but there's a very high chance."

Mrs Comrie, who was one of 11 children when growing up, is no stranger to large families.

However, even she concedes that she never expected to have a family as large as she now has.

"I have four children, 13 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren," Mrs Comrie said.

With such a large family Mrs Lynch joked that her mother's birthday parties had always been quite large, with her 100th birthday being the biggest.

"Everyone came to that, there was easily 70 people," Mrs Lynch said.

"The carpark across the street was packed, the house was filled.

"People had to come back in the afternoon as we were so busy.

"This year will be a lot quieter, it's just going to be close family and friends for a morning tea."

Mrs Comrie believes that the key to her good health and long age comes from remaining active, stating that she had benefited from having held hands-on jobs.

Mrs Comrie held a love of croquet, attributing the sport to keeping her fit and healthy.

Having played in Bowen for 47 years, she went as far as to travel to Mackay when the local branch closed down.

"I wanted to get to 50 years," Mrs Comrie said.

"Once the Bowen croquet closed I spent three years travelling by train to Mackay every week so that I could get it."

However, there was one thing that both mother and daughter could agree had helped, a glass of white wine every afternoon.

They joked that a little glass every afternoon has always helped everyone.


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