Well-known Cobram identity and former Yarroweyah farmer Betty Oliver celebrated her 80th birthday on Sunday at the Cobram Bowling Club.
Mrs Oliver has a strong connection to The Courier — her relative Jordan Oliver was a journalist at the newspaper before moving on about 10 years ago.
Mrs Oliver’s parents, Janet and Harry Garner, were some of Yarroweyah’s first soldier settlers.
Mrs Oliver and her husband Eric went on to eventually take over the dairy farm before eventually incorporating deer to the farm, stocking more than 1000 of the animal.
Mr and Mrs Oliver now live in Port Macquarie, where they have been happily enjoying the warmer weather for the past eight years.
‘‘We initially went up to Mackay in Queensland for a sea change, but that only lasted two years and we came back to Cobram,’’ Mrs Oliver said.
‘‘We then went up to Port Macquarie where our daughter Treena was working, but we initially thought it was a bit too busy for us. We eventually changed our minds and fell in love with the place and have been there ever since.’’
While several of Mrs Oliver’s children live away from Cobram, namely Treena, Calvin, and Steven, others such as Faye, Derrick and Ranjie remain active in the Cobram community.
‘‘It’s been a fantastic little town for our family over the years,’’ Mrs Oliver said.
‘‘The Cobram Bowls Club was our haunt for a long time and both Eric and I had stints as president at different stages.’’
In an act of tremendous community spirit, Mrs Oliver asked guests to refrain from bringing presents, instead requesting they make a gold coin donation towards motor neurone disease research.
Mrs Oliver said $400 was raised by the 80 guests.
Well-known Cobram resident Trevor Ennals succumbed to the horrible disease and the fundraising effort aimed to support his family.
‘‘At my age you don’t need presents. It is better to give back to the community, I think,’’ Mrs Oliver said.
Most of Mrs Oliver’s 18 grandchildren were at the celebration, as were Peter and Garry Ennals and countless other well-wishers.