Shock Down Under as Evelyn hits news back home

Evelyn Waddell in front of 100 roses
Evelyn Waddell in front of 100 roses

Last month we featured a story on former Borderer Evelyn Waddell who celebrated her 100th birthday in Australia and news of the article spread Down Under.

Evelyn is the widow of former Duns Castle gardener Abe Waddell who passed away in 1969 and enjoyed many happy times in the town.

She still has relatives in the Borders including her nephew Bill and his wife Shiela who still live in Duns.

And there were no shortage of family members keen to mark Evelyn reaching the century mark with four generations of families part of a 130 strong party of well wishers who celebrated with her.

Just as we featured Evelyn’s 100th, news of her century also attracted media interest in the Glen Waverley area of Australia where she now calls home with the ‘Waverley Leader’ the first to report on her important birthday and another following suit.

But although she’d grown quite accustomed to appearing in a newspaper, Evelyn and her family were still shocked that her 100th had made the press over the other side of the world.

In a thank you card to ‘The Berwickshire’ last week’, Evelyn’s daughter Elizabeth Woods, said it “was a great surprise” to see her mum in an issue of the paper that Evelyn’s niece, Shiela Smith had sent over from Scotland.

And in her thanks, Elizabeth went into more detail about how Evelyn had welcomed in her 100th year.

Not one to forget her strong links with the Borders, Evelyn was piped into her party to ‘Scotland The Brave’ followed by ‘God Save The Queen’.

Relatives travelled from all far and wide for the occasion- from Perth, Tasmania and the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.

And following more music from the piper; the singing of ‘Bless This House’ by one of her relatives and some toasts and speeches from some of her nearest and dearest, Evelyn got behind the microphone herself to say a few words.

As well as thanking those who had come out in force to celebrate with her Evelyn also told those gathered that her belief and trust in God had stood her in good stead - “God is always present and helps me day by day,” she proclaimed.

Evelyn is the oldest of eight children but has outlived many of her siblings, with only her twin brother and sister, Pauline and Paul, 17 years younger than her, still alive.

Following her party, which concluded with a hearty rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne’, the Mayor of Monash, Councillor Michaela Drieberg, said a few words and presented Evelyn with a basket of 100 roses.