Winifred, or Win, Jefferies is celebrating more than a century of life in the Clarence Valley for her 104th birthday on Wednesday, August 24.
Winifred, or Win, Jefferies is celebrating more than a century of life in the Clarence Valley for her 104th birthday on Wednesday, August 24. Caitlan Charles

Grafton's oldest resident set to tick another milestone

WINIFRED Jefferies is one of the Clarence Valley's longest living locals at 104.

In the lead up to her birthday on Wednesday next week, the centenarian sat down to talk about her life growing up in the area.

Born in her family home in Southgate to George and Eughemia Chevalley, Mrs Jefferies was the fifth of nine children.

Having lived in the area for more than 100 years, Mrs Jefferies had a lot to say about how the Clarence had changed since her childhood.

"When I was young there was no electricity, no cars...the bakers all came around, and the butchers and the grocers," she said.

"If we went into Ulmarra, there was a boat that went from Yamba every day, a passenger boat.

"All the food was different, you grew most of your own food, vegetables and fruit and everything."

Before the wireless, before TV and before motor cars, Mrs Jefferies said they found lots of ways to entertain themselves.

"Well there was nine in our family, we played a lot of games, we used to get out and play cricket and rounders and things out in the paddock, because you didn't have all the things they have now, the computers and the wireless," she said.

"We had one of those phonographs...that was the only entertainment we had, we used to play a lot of cards."

Mrs Jefferies was celebrated as Grafton High School's oldest living ex-student in 2012 when she was 99 and eight months.

Her long trips to school each morning are what she remembers most about that time.

"When I was in high school I had to ride a bike five miles into Ulmarra to catch a bus to come into Grafton," she said.

"We used to come across the punt, the big punt was there then, there was no bridge.

"Now the kids wouldn't walk two yards.

"When I was little and I first started school, we lived out in the country, I used to walk three miles to school and three miles back.

"Now the children think they should be taken in cars, ride their bikes or something, they wouldn't walk."

Mrs Jefferies now lives at Dougherty Villa in Grafton, where she enjoys playing bingo, euchre, and going for walks around the gardens.



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