PHYLLIS Holyoake celebrated her 100th birthday in style last week, marking the occasion with two separate celebrations. Ms Holyoake turned 100 on Saturday, but kicked off the festivities at the weekly 3MFM Bingo at the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club on Wednesday.
The Inverloch resident has been a keen and constant player for years and was surprised by 3MFM and the Workmen’s with a massive birthday cake and a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. “I didn’t know they were going to have a cake like that,” she said at Bingo. Wednesday was followed by a dinner and party at the Inverloch Community Hub for around 120 family and friends on Saturday. Phyllis was one of 10 children who grew up on a dairy in Mildura, Northern Victoria, before meeting and marrying Len Holyoake (deceased) and moving to New South Wales. After years in NSW, the couple moved to Inverloch in 1981.
The couple had seven children and now have 55 direct descendants, many of whom were on hand for Saturday’s celebration. Among her claims to fame is that her first plane ride was with Sir Charles Kingsford Smith as a 15 year-old in Mildura. Phyllis’ daughter Brenda Martin said her mother was active but had no secret to reaching triple-figures. “She is a very keen bingo player and scrabble player; the grandkids are very happy if they beat her but It doesn’t happen very often,” Brenda said. “I don’t think she has a secret to reaching 100, she has never been a drinker or a smoker. “She seems to do all the wrong things actually, she was raised on animal fat and always had fresh cream and milk onthe table but I guess she has very little processed food and plenty of fruit and vegies. “She has good genes, never had blood pressure issues which all us kids have had – she is outlasting us,” Brenda laughed.