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Community & Business

1 February, 2024

Celebrating 106 years of life, love and family

Although Edna Bryce isn’t yet a supercentenarian (a person who reaches the age of 110), she certainly qualifies as super, after celebrating her 106th birthday.

Family gathered at the Hotel Motel on January 24 to celebrate Edna’s 106th birthday. She is pictured in the front row (left) with her sister Irene (right).

Edna Doris Bryce (nee Weber) was born on January 24, 1918 in Toowoomba hospital. 

She is the eldest child of Heinrich and Ellen Weber, with siblings, Vera, George, Mary and Irene (Rene). 

During the height of the Great Depression, after five years of primary education, Edna joined the workforce, milking cows for local dairy farmers.

From this developed a strong work ethic that has been apparent throughout her entire life. 

Edna performed domestic chores and household cleaning for families until she was 97 years old.

She was always very precise about the end result of her work.    

In fact, she was so particular, her family would jest to her employers, that they never had to check their appearance in a mirror. 

They could simply look at the floor - which was always sparkling clean, with enough shine to see their own reflection in it.  

It was while playing tennis in the 40s that Edna met Roy Bryce, who would become her companion in life. 

Roy was employed by a wheat grower in Victoria, and had travelled to the Darling Downs for work. 

Edna and Roy married in 1942 at Crows Nest.  

The couple had no children, and lived in a house on Hill Street for more than 60 years.  

Roy died in February 1985 and 39 years later, Edna still fondly remembers the man he was. 

“He was just ordinary, like me,” Mrs Bryce said. 

In earlier years, Edna loved walking, and would often carry plates of food down the road to her sister Mary.  

One day, a local resident was relieved to see Edna walking down to Mary’s house with the assistance of a wheelie walker. 

But she was quick to tell them the sole purpose of the walker was not for her, but to keep secure Mary’s lunch, which she had placed in the carry area of the walker.

Only two years ago, Edna moved out of her home and into Beauaraba Living, where she now lives in the Lodge. 

The Sentinel asked Edna what the biggest change was, that she had seen in the world over the years, to which she replied, the world today was not a very healthy one.

“They [countries] all like fighting.

“When the young ones grow up now, their children will be fighting too,” she said. 

Being born in January 1918, Edna has a direct link to the First World War - few others can boast the same.  

It was in the month and year of Edna’s birth, that Australian troops were laying low in the height of a cold European winter, preparing for Germany’s spring offensive that would begin in March. 

Billy Hughes was the Australian Prime Minister at the time, copping flack after a second failed conscription referendum was voted down a month earlier.  

Edna has had no major medical illnesses over the years, and she attributes her good health to working hard and keeping busy.

With old age also comes the reality of mortality, and the uncertainty of what the future holds.    

When asked about her plans for next year’s birthday, Edna replied with good humour, “I won’t be here!” 

The very same reply as last year, and every year since her 100th birthday. 

Family and friends joined with her for lunch last Wednesday at the Hotel Motel to rejoice in her 106th birthday. 

She was gifted flowers, chocolates and biscuits, in celebration of her long life. 

Only a few years back, Edna became a great, great, great Aunt.

She is deeply loved by all of her family and they revere her as a determined, hard working, kind and caring lady.  

Few people in this life are blessed enough to live to 106 years, congratulations Edna on such an extraordinary feat.

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