102 and still going strong
IN 1913 at just five years old Caroline Nicholls remembers looking out to the distance as she sailed on a ship to see the bright lights of Cape Town on her way to her new home.
Yesterday, 102 years ago, Mrs Nicholls was born in the north of England and celebrated at her home of 20 years at the Akooramak Nursing Home with her daughters Eve-Ann and Norma.
Her father, Arthur Maughan, moved out to Australia to start a new life for them and her mother, Flora, and six brothers and sisters came out later to a property near Ballina in New South Wales.
“In 1913 we came to Australia and it took us six weeks to get around to Cape Town. I still remember seeing the lights of Cape Town as we came around,” Mrs Nicholls said.
She still remembers vividly the rough seas where the waves crashed over on to the deck of the ship and peeking out the doorway, protected by her sisters.
After five years in New South Wales the family decided to move north to Queensland, settling in the town of Clifton in 1918 in which she remembers experiencing three hard years of drought.
Mrs Nicholls remembers riding to school in Clifton on horses and tasty prickly pear jam her mother made as it infested the paddocks they had to cultivate.
When Toolburra was being divided her father bought the homestead block of South Toolburra and she continued her education at the Church of England boarding school in Warwick.
After school she moved back home and later on met the love of her life, Norman Nicholls, from the Pratten district seven miles away and they married on July 30, 1930.
“The 1930s were lean years for everybody, the Depression years where everyone struggled along,” Mrs Nicholls said.
They moved to Pratten where Mr Nicholls had purchased a property and a house and Mrs Nicholls suggested the name Uandi.
They had two daughters and she now has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She said her secret to a long life was to not worry, “I always say don’t worry...tomorrow will come.”
Mrs Nicholls will celebrate with all her family tomorrow.