Ninety-nine and counting

 Hope Styles celebrated her 99th birthday on Wednesday at her home at Gwen Warmington Lodge.

Born in Yass, Hope grew up as a “railway kid” as her father was the station master in Yass town.

After school Hope became a nurse and was working at the Yass Hospital.

“I was nursing for a while then my mum got sick and I came home and I ran the household,” she said.

She cared for her three younger siblings who she said would “sometimes” take her advice.

Hope had known her husband Bob Styles at school but romance blossomed when they joined the same tennis club.

“Then it all became history,” she smiled.

The new couple moved to a property on the Murrumbidgee toward Wee Jasper, where they raised their family until Rupert Murdoch bought their property in the early 1970s.

They worked hard on the land and raised their children Helen, Judith, David and Stephen.

She made all her children’s clothes, initially taught them through correspondence and worked to keep them fed and happy.

Hope’s scones were something of legend and she recalls a day when she sent a batch to the shearing shed to feed the hungry workers.

“One of the shearers said ‘if I could find the one that made these scones, I’d marry her’.”

Hope’s husband Bob replied quickly with “she might already be married”.

She believed everybody should experience life in the country.

“It wasn’t an easy life on the land [but] I’ve really enjoyed my life,” she said.

The couple moved into a house in Links Road in Yass where they spent several years, before moving to the aged care home.

The 99-year-old attributes her good health to “living a good, clean life”.

She said she was a non-smoker and didn’t drink and said she was most proud that she’d “been here”.

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