Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Oldest Lady Passes Away; OBITUARY

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Oldest Lady Passes Away; OBITUARY

Article excerpt

Byline: BELINDA SCOTT

COFFS Harbour's oldest resident, 105-year-old Lillian Alda Cooper, died peacefully at St Augustine's Nursing Home on April 7.

The daughter of engineer John Fitch and his wife, Jane, Lillian was born in Balmain on July 29, 1903, when the main transport was the horse and buggy.

Her thorough education as a boarder at St Mary's Convent in Wollongong, where she learned everything from music and exquisite needlework to shorthand, typing and bookkeeping was to stand her in good stead.

Her first husband, Thomas Pryce, was swept off rocks while fishing at Fingal Rocks near Tweed Heads during a picnic at Fingal Rocks in 1927.

Lillian, who was seven months pregnant and had a three-year-old son, was forced to become a single working mother at a time when many women did not work at all.

She battled with men for work during the Depression, but her fast typing and shorthand speeds ensured she was never out of a job, working in a variety of offices including the Repatriation Department in Sydney and the Department of the Prime Minister in Canberra. …

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