The lovely Joyce Williams turned 106 on Saturday, July 9, celebrating the impressive achievement with her family and a visit from Yass Valley Mayor Allan McGrath and Legacy Officer Neil Turner.

Joyce is seated on the chair, standing is her mother Pearl Lachlan, and Joyce’s siblings at that time – Sylvia, Kathleen, Desmond, and Dulce at the front

Born in 1916 Joyce grew up in Yass along with siblings Kathleen, Des, Dulce, Launa, Sylvia and Robert. Daughter of Charles Robert and Pearl Lachlan of Yass, Joyce is the eldest person in the Legacy Canberra District and most likely the eldest in the Yass Valley.

Sharp as a tack, Joyce’s Legacy Officer Neil said with a laugh that she was incredibly fit for her age.

After initially attending the covenant in Yass during her primary school years (now Mt Carmel), Joyce moved to the Yass Public High School where she could further ex- plore her love of sports.

Although her favourite sport is golf, Joyce was a proud diver in her schooling days. At about 12 years old Joyce remembers readying to dive off the 3m high springboard at the old Yass pool, carefully positioning her toes right at the edge of the board with her back to the water before she launched herself into the water.

“My siblings and I all went to the public school, and it was right down my lane because the convent didn’t have any sport or anything like that,” she said. “I became one of the highest point scorers in the club.”

Joyce (far left) and Yass Women’s Golf Club

Joyce met her husband, Jack, when they were in their late teens. Most boys over 17 enlisted to fight, so Joyce and her sisters taught some of the younger gents how to dance, which is where the pair became friendly.

Eventually, Jack and his friends enlisted in the war, and he served as a driver in Papua New Guinea. He asked Joyce to check in on his elderly parents while he was gone, and Joyce sent him letters about how they were doing during those times.

After the war, when Jack returned home, the pair were married and blessed with two children Cheryl Rowley nee Williams (dec) and Max Williams, several grand-children and now subsequently several great-grandchildren.

Mayor Allan McGrath said Joyce had a wonderful personality and felt privileged for the wonderful opportunity to come and have a talk with her on her birthday.

Joyce Williams and Mayor Allan McGrath

Joyce and Jack founded a successful bus business that opened several transport options for Yass.

As a successful business owner, Joyce’s words of wisdom to other business owners are – “Always look after the middleman, not just the ones at the top.”

By Brianna O’Rourke & Jasmin Jones